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I just finished a wonderful book that is a must read for young people and their parents.

“No Limits:-The Will To Succeed” is the story of the life of Michael Phelps who won a total of eight gold medals in the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

He grew up the baby brother in a house rumbling with girl power. His sister Whitney is five years older and Hilary is the baby seven years younger then her brother. When he was a baby his mother would drive him to the pool where his sisters where swimming.

His story is one of maximizing his God given talents while overcoming some problems. Michael was an ADHD child who could barely sit still in his elementary school classroom. Many of his teachers because he couldn’t stay focused on the task at hand thought he would never ever be successful.

His mom, who was a teacher, took Michael to the family physician who prescribed Ritalin which he took three times a day when he was attending school. It worked and Michael’s attention span and school performance improved.

At the age of seven Michael’s father split from the family leaving his mother to take care of three youngsters while she worked full time.

Bob Bowman, a swimming coach, agreed to provide guidance to the eleven year old scrawny kid. He was the trainer, motivator who inspired Michael and proved that there was a direct relationship between hard work and success. Being ADHD Michael had lots of energy that needed attending to in a positive manner.

Michael was forever tripping over his very large feet. Basketball/ track or football were not on his radar screen. But, put him in water his feet became instant flippers.

At an early age Michael was taught to visualize his races. Bob would video tape the swim meets and Michael would play the tape over and over to see where he might improve. The mental aspect of the sport was just important as the physical.

Twice a day practices was the norm with the early morning practice meant leaving home at five in the morning. Mom would gently rub Michael’s shoulder and would tell him she was waiting in the car.

His mom and coach didn’t nag. It wouldn’t have worked anyway. It sufficed that Michael had a plan and a dream to become the very best swimmer in the world.

In some sports, you can excel if you have natural talent. Not in swimming. You can have all the talent in the world, be built the right way, but you can’t excel unless you work very hard. There is a direct relationship between what you put in and what you get out.

Michael has some advice to his readers; “So many people along the way, whatever it is you aspire to do, will tell you that it can’t be done. But all it takes is imagination. You dream. You plan. You reach. There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits.”

If you want to learn more about Michael Phelps drop into your public library and reserve your copy of his book. In my humble opinion you can aspire to be the very best that you can be if you but try. I agree that there are NO LIMITS.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com