I was glued to the television watching the open championship this weekend. I was mesmerised by Darren Clarke who has come back from personal tragedy.
Clarke’s wife, Heather, lost her battle with breast cancer in August 2006. Who can forget that three weeks later, he was selected to the European Ryder Cup team. Amid scenes of great emotion at The K Club in Ireland, he won all three of his matches as Europe retained the Cup. Nobody watching could fail to be caught up in the emotions that Darren Clarke carried with him during this event.
After this amazing achievement of playing a Ryder Cup on home soil and leading Europe to victory just one month after his wife, Heather, died, Clarke began dropping away to obscurity.
Ultimately his personal tragedy triggered a dramatic downward slide dropping him down the world rankings.
Back in 2007 Clarke said
“I had a pretty tough year last year and didn’t play particularly well for a few different reasons,” he added. “Everybody loses confidence when things aren’t going well. So I don’t have any specific goals. I’ve just got to play and the rest will come. I’ll keep battling on and one of these days it’ll turn around and I’ll be fine.”
Clarke began to rebuild his life and found the drive to regain his place in the upper reaches of the world rankings.
Clarke finally won a major yesterday evening winning the British Open. He finished at 5-under 275 and became the first player in his 40s to win a major since Vijay Singh at the 2004 PGA Championship. See life doesn’t stop at 40. As he struggled with his game and the adjustment of raising two boys without their mother, Clarke never gave up on his dreams.
Following his amazing victory yesterday, Darren Clarke explained:
“To be The Open champion is just incredible. So you know, I’ve got to go back now, reassess and set some more goals. I’ve spent a bit of time earlier this year with a guy called Mike Finnigan from i2i Sports and we wrote down all my goals and stuff and a few of them was to be sitting at Christmas and having won a couple of tournaments, and back in Augusta again next year to get myself back on track, and obviously I’ve achieved that now after today.
It’s all good, but I need to reassess now and figure out some more goals. I don’t just want to rest on this. I want to keep on going, keep on working on what I’m working on because my golf was obviously very good this week, albeit it was links and links does suit me. But I still feel as if I can compete with the best players in the world, and that’s what I want to do. Obviously I can”
What a testament this is to following your dreams, draw up your goals, and work towards them.
A dream is a wonderful thing. It can give you hope for your future and encourage you to try when all odds are against you. Don’t let fear, dictate to you that you can’t fulfil your dream. Tell yourself, “I can and will fulfil my destiny, my dream.” The more you instil within your heart that you can do it, your dream will be held safe within you.
He certainly took action, as he said yesterday:
“Get out there and practice and keep going, keep going, keep going. And that’s why I’m sitting here now.”
When asked about how he felt following this victory, he said
“Pretty amazing right now, it’s been a dream since I’ve been a kid to win the Open, like any kid’s dream is, and I’m able to do it, which just feels incredible.”
Darren Clarke represents the ordinary people. He has demonstrated that we can all achieve miracles if we work hard enough at them.
“I’m a bit of a normal bloke, aren’t I?” Clarke said, the claret jug at his side. “I like to go to the pub and have a pint, fly home, buy everybody a drink, just normal. There’s not many airs and graces about me. I was a little bit more difficult to deal with in my earlier years, and I’ve mellowed some. Just a little bit. But I’m just a normal guy playing golf, having a bit of fun.”
So this 42-year-old who has gone through more hard times than he cares to remember, the worst of it losing his wife to cancer five years ago, today reached the top of his profession by taking a three shot victory in the British Open at the Royal St. George’s Golf Course in Kent.
These words show why nobody can bemoan this man’s time in the spotlight:
“In terms of what’s going through my heart, there’s obviously somebody who is watching down from up above there, and I know she’d be very proud of me,” Clarke said. “She’s probably be saying, ‘I told you so.’ “
When you dream, dream BIG, and never give up. Keep seeing yourself accomplishing your dream. Continue to feed your dream and protect it, not only will you keep it alive, but it has no other choice but to come forth!
Let Darren Clarke inspire you, he has me!
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There are so many inspirational people out there mate. and guess what you one of em 😉
Charles, for once in my life i have lost the ability to talk or type. That has got to be one of the loveliest things anyone has ever said to be. Did i just use the word loveliest? Thank you my friend.
Larry – This is an amazing post. I’m not in to golf but now you’ve gone and made me want to watch Darren Clarke!
Corinne. It’s a fantastic sport, and makes wonderful competition. It’s one of the few sports where you may be competing against each other but where you are always supportive of each other. At the end of this particular event two of the main candidates Darren Clarke the winner and Phil Mickelson who came joint second showed great compassion and friendship towards each other. It was so refreshing to see and one of my favourite moments.
I too watched Darren this weekend he played an amazingly good game and they had me laughing every time he’d put on his rain pants/take them off. LOL I think I saw 3 times. I kept thinking “geezz let the man undress in peace” then laughed cause it was an odd statement. HA! there I go off on my scattered musing. He is an inspiration and I bet it was his wife that pushed him along but during the Ryder Cup Event.
Debbie, good to see you again. Only a woman could take such amusement in the dressing and stripping these poor golfers had to go through due to our beloved British Weather. I have no doubt that his wife indeed was his inspiration at that Ryder Cup, but with some of the amazing shots he pulled off this weekend, i have no doubts she played a part in his amazing victory this weekend.
you are always a source of inspiration to me..keep going Larry..There are people in life you learn to live with, there are people you know you can’t live without, and then there are people you know life wouldn’t be the same without. ..and I need you always.
Alpana for a long time you have been a source of inspiration for me, You are so giving, so loving, you bring belief to others. That is what life is all about giving and taking. Whatever it is that i give to you, i assure you you give back to me in equal measure. I say that from the heart.
I agree with with Charles. You are truly inspiring Larry. Yes there are so many people like that who do not give up dreaming. We all can be like that but most of us so scared of even trying. Thank you Larry.
Rimly. I’m touched by your words truly. Comments like this fuel my passsions for blogging. They are my evidence that my passions are valued and they drive me on.
To achieve any dream we must be willing to make mistakes and endure failures. The quicker we can make these mistakes and suffer those failures, the quicker we will master the skills to achieve our dreams. Let your desires beat your fears down. When we want something enough we must never let anything stop us trying to get it. Remenber when we die we will regret more the things we didn’t try.
“When you dream, dream BIG, and never give up. Keep seeing yourself accomplishing your dream. Continue to feed your dream and protect it, not only will you keep it alive, but it has no other choice but to come forth!”
So true, Larry! It is important to protect our dreams…even from our own doubts! When we focus on the good feelings that our dream conjures, then we know we’re on track, and our dream will become reality.
Thanks for your positive, uplifting post!
Bec – great comment, thank you. We as humans are great at times in doubting ourselves. I take that doubt, welcome it, thank it for being there, then reassure it that i can, and i will achieve my goal, it drives me to do more, to believe more, and as you say, to use the feelings i know that i will experience on its achievement to lift me and be more determined to reach my target
Always a pleasure to read your insight and words of wisdom, what better way than to give an example of someone who has been there and achieved through everything. I never knew golf was your thing so it’s nice also to get an insight into the person behind the blog and see what kind of things motivate you too.
SJ – sport has always been one of my passions in life. I love playing, and watching. To match yourself against another, to compete, to test yourself is something that has always driven me. To see people step up to the plate and excel has always been for me an example of what we as humans can do when we decide to set a goal and bring everything together to bring it into reality.
Whenever I visit your site I get a lot of inspiration,a complete refreshment.So whenever I need some inspiration I visit healthylifestyleblog and you never failed to inspire me Larry.Thanks again for sharing this story. 😀