You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
The words of the famous American poet Maya Angelou were never more poignant for Tiger Woods than yesterday.
The champion golfer and before yesterday I would have added the prefix (former) but now no more, won what no-one ever thought he would do again, a fifth green jacket his first major win in 11 years by winning the Augusta Masters, golf’s equivalent to Wimbledon.
I’m not a fan of Tiger Woods on a personal front. I have little time for anyone who can betray his or her spouse or partner so greatly and so publicly. But on the professional front, he must be admired.
A career of brilliance on the golf course has been marred by often incredibly debilitating injuries none being more significant than a repeated back problem which saw him undergo a spinal fusion in April last year.
Fast-forward 12 months and the same man is holding the most coveted prize in golf aloft. Of his return to glory, he has said: “It’s been a tough road. The number of times I’ve fallen because my leg didn’t work or I just had to lay on the ground in pain for extended periods of time. Those are some really dark, dark times. I’m a walking miracle … I don’t know if anyone who’s had a lower back fusion can swing the club as fast as I can swing it. That’s incredible.’
Indeed it is. Love him or hate him or even dismiss him, you have to admire the guy for his tenacity, his resilience and his never say die attitude. He’s been ridiculed, laughed at and known more for his infidelities than on course brilliance, but one thing is certain; yesterday Tiger showed an often sceptical world, that dreams can come true if you believe in them. As Woods’ longtime sponsor Nike was quick to state: "It's crazy to think a 43-year-old who has experienced every high and every low, and has just won his 15th major, is chasing the same dream as a 3-year-old." Yesterday was, if nothing else, an inspiring reminder to us all that no matter what transpires “I’ll rise”.
IMAGE VIA CBS SPORTS