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Yesterday I met a champion and my victories turned into nothing.

The boy may 9-10 years old limped holding his mom’s hand with his feeble legs, but the child was happy – a smile shone on his tired face.

Then I remembered where I had met him – last year, a few times I saw his mom pushing his wheelchair to the playground. He looked at playing children from the distance, and they were running around talking, competing, who would be allowed to push the wheels. I monitored him from the window of my office and my heart squeezed from the pain. And yesterday I first saw him walking.

Now, we met on the street. I asked where they are going. The boy and the mother had an idea – they went to the sporting goods store to buy sneakers! Oh, so you know how important it is – you need them when you start walking, shoes are essential!

Mom and boy were happy: they reached their goal. There was a long hard road left behind. 

Behind my back are a hundred times lighter roads, so victories are a hundred times poorer.

But when I saw the champion, my heart filled with gratitude.

© Fortune, 2009

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