On a warm sunny day, I found myself leaning against the rail of the track, upfront right next to the finish line.

I didn’t have much money so I waited until the last race of the day, and that’s when I decided to put a twenty-dollar bet on a young, strong-looking horse…. Number 7, whose name was Stagecoach.

He had the best odds of winning, so I felt he was a sure bet, and winning with my twenty dollars would at least pay for my ride home.

So I placed the bet and… I stood there clutching my ticket behind the rail when a stranger in his 60’s, wearing a grey suit and a cowboy hat, approached me.

And in a Clint Eastwood tone, he uttered towards me: “It’s a beautiful day for my horse Landswoon to win. Keep your eye on number 2. He’s gonna do it, I trained him well.”

I looked over and saw number 2, a young frail horse that was timid and struggling to line up at the starting line.

I simply shot the old cowboy a glance and said: “Good luck with your horse mister.”

The race began, and a deep rumbling followed through the race track as all the horses bunched up with one another, galloping.

Number 7 was my horse, and yes - he was leading the pack!

And with all his might and speed, number 7 was commanding the pack, remaining upfront all throughout the track.

And now he just needed one last turn at the rail to win it.

This was it, one last turn and my horse would win it.

“7 is about to win!” I yelled out to the cowboy.

He responded calmly without even batting an eye…

“No. I’m about to win big.”

I just shook my head in disbelief - his horse was dead last and struggling to keep up.

All the horses were putting up a good fight, but mine was leading and galloping with strength and power.

I reassured myself that my horse was the favorite one to win. **

But then, at the very last turn of the rail…

Number 2, Landswoon, the cowboy’s horse - suddenly flew with all his power.

His thunderous galloping crunched into a frantic pace.

And it went from eating dust at the end of the pack - to flying and passing each and every other horse and rider on the track.

And now his horse was nose to nose with the horse I was betting on. And then…

My cheers turned into utter disbelief. My heart sunk.

This horse that was dead last all along, the cowboy’s number 2 horse, suddenly broke with lightning speed from the pack - just leaving a trail of dust.

His horse bolted across the finish line… winning first place.

Mine didn’t even come in second, or third… mine came in fourth.

I was in disbelief, and said out loud… “How could a horse with the worst odds actually win?”

The old cowboy turned to me and said “To win a race you don’t have to be the strongest, the smartest, or even the fastest.”

“He doesn’t have to be the fastest?” I asked in disbelief.

He lowered his head and said evenly “When a horse moves beyond timing, he is able to synchronize his energy… And utilizes all the pressure thrown at him to pivot and ascend. That’s what you want to bet on… ascension.”

Something told me he was right but still, it didn’t make any sense.

I pressed him for an explanation and asked “How is that even possible?”

He smiled, propping back his hat, and said “Many things are possible when you break out of your comfort zone… no matter how much pressure there is. Pressure and carrying pain might sometimes be what makes you win.”

I simply nodded, lost in thought, not wanting to ask any more questions since it all sounded like he was talking about me directly.

As he began walking away he turned around and said “The most important thing is to show up with the right energy to be able to ascend.”

And yes, now I really did feel like he was talking about me… as if he could read my mind, so I left it at that, but I knew he had been right all this time.

That evening as I made my way back home, my mind began to race a hundred miles per hour.

Then it hit me…

That was the one key I was missing all this time!

I had been confused and afraid of diving in and breaking through my pain barriers.

And the one word he had mentioned kept playing in my head…


Something had come over me…

In my mind, I began to see that this kind of ascension actually existed everywhere.

For instance… When an airplane takes off on a runway, it’s able to ascend after going through the most mounting air pressure.

And I also began to think…

In exercising, the pressure that leads to ascension the most was within a particular type of workout:

When you hit that intense peak that’s when you really start burning energy.

And it then dawned on me…

If you utilize your pain points to evolve through the best options given to you… all your losses will eventually provide a win.

And upon ascending… A win will make up for all of your losses.

All this time, ascension had been hidden in plain sight.

At home I ferociously researched it for days… and my suspicions were correct.

I realized the answer to my own riddle…

The answer to the riddle of what a pedestrian getting hit by a car - and a timid looking horse on the race track, both have in common.

It meant that moments of great pressure and pain, those moments are meant to either make you ascend towards growth, or make you descend - towards destruction.

What was the secret? Ascension.

This is because energy is either on an upward swing or a downward swing.

Inner pain can be one of the worst things in life - unless we know how to pivot off of it, use it to ascend, and reach all those things we desire and deserve.

Just like a horse trailing in last place suddenly coming in from behind… he turns all the pressure on its head and gains momentum.

My problem was not only the pain and anxiety I had from my accident… My problem was not knowing what to do with all that pain and anxiety.

All this time I was so focused on the small picture and was not fully aware of the overall picture.

Now I felt awakened.

I had a choice… I could either deal with the pain on a constructive level or a destructive level.

But just how would I decide to use all of my physical pain, my anxiety, and even the pain of being in debt?

I just knew within me that there was a way somehow… And now I was on a mission to find out how.

I wrote this on a piece of paper and taped it to my mirror:

“The universe wants to give me abundance if… I am willing to figure out how to transfer it from energy form and into the physical realm.”

I remember the old man’s advice… to win a race you don’t have to be the strongest, the smartest, or even the fastest.

And that was me!

I knew I wasn’t the strongest, the smartest, and heck - I was really slow…

But I knew I was going to win this race!

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