“Regardless of what came before or of what has yet to come, what matters most right now is how I choose to respond to the challenge before me. Will I lie down or will I fight? The choice is mine and I choose to Finish Strong.” ~Dan Green
We all must deal with challenges from time to time. Dan Green’s book Finish Strong contains just the right blend of inspiration and encouragement to motivate us when we need it the most.
The story of Jim J. Braddock, the “Cinderella Man,” is one of my favorites. It’s about a working man’s rise to the top, his fall to the very bottom and then his ascension to heights he never imagined. And through it all he discovered the true meaning of life.
Jim Braddock spent the better part of the 1920’s boxing in the light heavyweight division. During this time, he gained a reputation for being a fierce competitor with a right hand punch that could stop a bulldozer. His rise through the professional ranks began in 1926. He won most of his fights and earned a respectable reputation and living. By all accounts Jim Braddock was a successful man with a good life.
Like millions of Americans, Jim Braddock lost everything with the Great Depression. With no work available, Jim continued to box in order to provide for his family. Unfortunately, Jim’s boxing career hit the skids during this time. He lost sixteen of twenty two fights. To make matters worse, he shattered his powerful right hand and lost his greatest boxing asset. Under pressure to support his family, Jim quit boxing and filed for government relief. For the next few years, Jim would struggle to make ends meet. He worked odd jobs on the docks and took whatever other work he could find. His family finances grew worse and at times they had very little food or heat for their apartment. It was during these years that Jim Braddock discovered how important his family was to him. Because of this emotional time in his life, Jim would rediscover the true meaning of winning.