Flying high

Michael stone always dreamt of flying. His mother read him stories. About flying and he listened with great attention and excitement. He wanted to soar like an angle. His father who believed in hard work, always said, ``if you want something, work for it’’.

From the age of 14, Michael stone did just that. He began a very careful and regimented weightlifting program. Monitored by his trainer and father, he worked out regularly. He also helped his parents with their farm chores. He always strived for perfection in all his work.

Soon he took part in the pole- valuating event. The people-vault is truly the glamour event of any track and field competition. It combines the grace of a gymnast with the strength of a body –builder. It also has an element of flying. Pole-vaulting enthralled Michael stone and he strived to achieve excellence in it.

When Michael stone was 17 years old he confronted the most challenging day of is pole-vaulting career at –the national junior Olympics. He was one of the finalists of the two competitors in the pole- vaulting event at the national junior Olympics. The pole- was set at 17 feet. That was 3 inches higher than his personal best. Out of the three chances allowed, Michael cleared the bar twice at 17 feet 2 inches and 17 feet 4 inches. It was time for his final jump. He needed to clear this vault to win. The bar was set at 9 inches higher than his personal best. The intensity of the moment filled his mind with anxiety. He began to feel nervous. He remembered his father saying, ``if you want something, work for it’’.

He carefully picked his pole and stepped on the runway. And then did his final take-off. Michael was now flying just like in his childhood dreams. He was soaring with the majesty of an eagle.

The crowd was cheering very loud. He had done it. Michael stone emerged a winner and set anew world record in pole-vaulting. His accomplishment was not only because he set a new record but because Michael stone was blind.

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