Leaders are not born, they are made. And they are made
just like anything else, through hard work. That's the price we'll have
to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal. The great, Helen Keller once
said that character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through
experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision
cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.
Here’s an amazing
love and success story that we can learn from. Unlike the fictionized
version that has been circulating in the Internet, the following is a
Kurt Warner, a
famous NFL quarterback has achieved prominence through vision, faith,
hard work and perseverance. He married a woman who had two children, one
a special needs child which makes his story more interesting.
Kurt and Brenda
first met in 1992 at a country bar while he was Northern Iowa’s starting
quarterback. After having been cut by the Green Bay Packers in 1994,
Kurt worked in Hy-Vee grocery store in Cedar Falls for $5.50 an hour as
Brenda was a new check-out girl in that store. One morning
Kurt brought Brenda roses and wanted to meet her youngsters. She’d told
Kurt about her children the night before, so there was no dramatic
surprise when she introduced her disabled son. They had a lengthy
courtship. They married in 1997.
Brenda, who is
four years older than Kurt, had two children by a previous marriage.
Zachary who is three years older than his sister, Jesse Jo, was born in
1989 and does indeed have serious physical infirmities.
Although he was
a perfectly healthy infant, when he was four months old, his father
dropped him and in the blink of an eye, this previously healthy baby was
suddenly clinging to life, suffered severe brain damage, and both of his
retinas were ruptured. Zachary’s recovery has been long and arduous.
Although legally blind he is able to walk and talk.
Kurt adopted Zachary and Jesse after his wedding to Brenda in 1997. The
Warners have since added five more children to their brood: Kade in
1998, Jada in 2001, Elijah in 2003, and twins Sienna and Sierra in 2005.
Zachary enjoys an
excellent relationship with his adoptive father. For instance, after the
Rams victory in the NFC Championship game in 2000, 10-year-old Zachary
presented Kurt with a homemade card done in Rams blue and gold. Inside,
in childlike scrawl, it read: “You’re as good a dad as you are a
dad could hardly be described in similar fashion. His inability to come
to terms with the injuries he’d caused upon his son led to the breakup
of his marriage to Brenda. He left her when she was eight months
pregnant with Jesse.
This is obviously
thrilling success story. Kurt and Brenda had endure tremendous obstacles
to attain a better life. Just imagine all the heartbreak Kurt had
endured trying to get into the NFL,and the many setbacks he had to
weather along the way.
Kurt presented as a free agent to the Green Bay
Packers in 1994, was signed, then cut in same year. In 1997 he had a
tryout scheduled with the Chicago Bears which fell through when an
injury sustained during his honeymoon rendered him hors de combat. A
venomous spider had bitten him on his throwing elbow.
He had to muck
about in the Arena and European leagues before finally being taken on by
the Rams in 1997 as their third-string quarterback. In 1999 he stepped
in during the pre-season in place of injured Trent Green and began
almost immediately to rewrite Ram’s history.
to make a life for herself and her two children after her first husband
deserted her, was equally commendable. This former Marine had to return
to her parents’ home when she was eight months pregnant with her second
child and with a brain-damaged child. She completed her nursing training
during this period, getting by with the help of food stamps and student
loans. The death of her parents in Mountain View, Arkansas, in a tornado
in 1996, a year after they had retired, compounded her agony.
for a record 414 yards in his 23-16 Super Bowl XXXIV victory over the
Tennessee Titans and being named that contest’s Most Valuable Player
topped the previous record of 357 yards set by San Francisco’s Joe
Montana in Super Bowl XXII and capped an astounding 4,353 yard,
41-touchdown regular season that won him league MVP honors.
As you can see,
falling in love with and then marrying a gal who had two children, one
of them a special needs child, was just part of this most remarkable
story. In Super Bowl XXXVI, Kurt Warner led the St. Louis Rams in their
guest for another victory; although they came up just short, Kurt Warner
deservedly, was already the stuff of legends
Every great work, every big accomplishment, has been
brought into reality through holding to the vision, and often just
before the big achievement, comes apparent failure and discouragement.
of us give up just when we are about to achieve success. We quit on the
one yard line. We give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from
a winning touchdown. Let's remember that our greatest glory consists not
in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice: It
is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.
~William Jennings Bryan