I know most of you think tennis is as much fun as watching grass grow. Well, I happen to LOVE watching grass grow. What's even more fun is seeing grass being ground into dirt and clay under the rapid footwork of Rafael Nadal.
In 2009, Rafa won very few tournaments due to painful tendinitis in his kness. He thought his career might be over. But he worked hard at finding a treatment that enables him to perform at the highest level.
This year was astounding for Rafa. Even his greatest rival, Roger Federer, can not claim a better year.
Nadal won all three major clay court tournaments leading up to Roland Garros, the clay court Grand Slam in Paris. The two weeks of tennis there found Rafa on the brink of elimination a number of times. His strength, determination and positive attitude kept him on the court. When he beat Robin Soderling in the final, he dissolved into deep sobs - a display of emotion he had never shown before. He explained how important it was to win this tournament after thinking he may never be able to compete again.
A few weeks later he went on to dominate Wimbledon, the grass court Grand Slam in London. Winning both tournaments back to back is something few players, other than Bjorn Borg, have ever achieved. Rafa has done it twice.
In September the U.S. Open loomed. This final Grand Slam of the year was extremely important for Rafa. To win it, would mean a career Grand Slam. Only six other men have ever won all four Slams in their lifetime as the surfaces are so completely different. In the last 48 years just Andre Agassi and Roger Federer have managed this feat.
Nadal only dropped one set on his way to becoming the youngest person ever (in the Open era) to claim the career Grand Slam crown.
Yes, Rafa Nadal inspires me!
So who inspires you? Where do you get your motivation to be a better person? I'd love to hear your story of the 'hero's in your life!