I’ve spent the last few days in Calgary, Alberta, working with the great team from Oakcreek Golf and Turf. Calgary is a wonderful city in Western Canada that every year hosts an event known as the Calgary Stampede. Without going into great detail let’s just say that the Stampede is the mother of all rodeos.
It attracts visitors from all over the world. Young and old, they come to see not just the rodeo and the incredible Chuckwagon races but also to experience the “event” and the unique hospitality of the great people of Calgary.
I’ve been to three stampedes and even though I know little about horses and rodeos there is always much to marvel at. This year, however, was even more marvelous then before.
The city of Calgary very recently suffered devastating floods. During my visit the magnitude of the flooding was still very, very apparent. Just two weeks before my visit and the start of the 10 day Stampede event the stampede grounds were under water. Not a little water, a lot of water. Some of the water lines on nearby trees were nearly 6 feet high.
It would have been apparent to any average person that in it’s 101st year the tradition of the Calgary Stampede could not continue.
Clearly, the people of Calgary are anything but average. Led by Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who appears to be more public servant than politician, the people went to work preparing their city and the historic stampede grounds for the impending influx of visitors. While it will take years and millions of dollars to repair all the damage caused by the flood, the stampede grounds looked exactly as they had in past years.
It was impossible and yet there I was, sitting and standing exactly where I was a year ago as if nothing had happened.
Someone forgot to tell the Calgarians and their personable mayor that it was impossible. I heard stories about the effort it took to accomplish what they did. I heard about the hours and hours of work, and the lack of sleep required to accomplish what they did. Calgary has a philosophy of being “stronger together” and the strength they showed was nothing less than Herculean.
What’s happening in Calgary this week is testimony to the power of persistence and perseverance. It is testimony to the fact that ordinary people become extraordinary when they refuse to accept the fact that something “can’t” be done.
One reason why people fail is that they too quickly buy into the concept of “can’t” and they quit. Many people quit when success is right around the corner. If they could have just pushed themselves a little further success would have been theirs.
Most people, yes most, are capable of accomplishing much more than they ever thought possible. They just need to tell themselves nothing is truly impossible until every last person on earth agrees that it is.
Or, they could just act like they are from Calgary and decide they won’t be stopped come hell or high water!