Many Japanese Americans landed in interment camps during World War II, and although Wat Misaka was never taken prisoner, he still encountered hate and prejudice.
Misaka had another strike against him: he was only 5’7″.
The difference between a champion and a quitter is that a champion isn’t bogged down by excuses, which Misaka could have easily done.
Instead, Misaka worked extremely hard to become a top basketball player and defied all odds. Ultimately, he led his team from Weber State to win an NIT title (the basketball gold standard at the time) in 1947 at the Garden.
Misaka was surprised and deeply touched when he played at the Garden how the crowd cheered for him, despite his being of Japanese descent.
The New York Knicks named him their first draft choice and Misaka became the first non-white professional basketball player.
We can always come up with excuses for not performing our best or for not giving up a habit: “My father mistreated me” “I didn’t feel loved as a child.” “I was teased because I was fat.” “My husband cheated on me, which led me to binge eat (smoke).”
The fact is, stuff happens to all of us, and the beauty of life is that we have free-will, that is, the choice, to be prisoners of the stories we weave in our minds or, like Misaka, build character and strength from what we’ve suffered.
You have the right to be healthy and live your best life!
How have you overcome obstacles to do what’s right for you?