When I was learning how to luge, I was placed in the
beginner luge class with fourteen other “aspiring
We were training in the old bobsled track, a mean concrete
track, one half mile long and filled with wicked turns. This
was summer training to learn the basics of driving a luge
We trained on wheeled sleds at fifty miles per hour. We wore
tennis shoes, shorts, a t-shirt… and a crash helmet (I
hate it when they call it that). If you crashed, you went
straight to the hospital. That’s the weeding out process in
the sport of luge. I guess they want to know right away if
you’re serious or not.
The coaches made it difficult on us purposely. They wanted
to know right away how bad we wanted it. They didn’t want to
waste any time with anyone who was not serious.
There are many facets to success. You have to have a dream –
not just any dream; a dream that takes your breath away; a
dream that you’re willing to fight for.
You have to believe in yourself. You have to take massive
action with singleness of purpose. And, finally, you have to
have the attitude that you are willing to do whatever it
takes for as long as it takes. Then, and only then, is
Your desire will determine whether you’ll realize your dream
because how badly you want it determines what will make you
quit. Burning desire allows a person with average ability to
successfully compete with those who have far more ability.
Desire allows you to give it everything you’ve got. It helps
you reach your full potential. Intense desire allows people
to win against overwhelming odds.
If your dream is not an obsession, as soon as you come
across obstacles, you’ll quit. As soon as the challenge of
reaching your dream becomes an inconvenience, you’ll give
Success is not convenient. Trust me. In order to succeed you
will need to inconvenience yourself in a big way – for a
long time. That’s why it’s so important to be driven,
excited, and passionate about your dream. If your “why?” is
big enough, the “how” will take care of itself.
Ruben Gonzalez is a three-time Olympian