I am The Greatest. There’s nobody greater than me in what I do. The spotlight is shinning on me. I am the best. Look at them as they chant my name. I am a champion. They stand up for me. They feel me. My robe is shining like gold. They all want to touch me. They all want a piece of me.
Do you know how I got to be the greatest? I worked hard, day and night. I pushed hard, I jogged hard, I ran hard. There were days when I felt I couldn’t go any further, but I didn’t yield. I am a winner, and winners don’t yield. I kept on pushing, because that is what I do, I push.
I trained my body to be fast, to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. I weigh heavy but I move at light speed. I feel the energy coursing through my veins. I feel my muscles throbbing to do what they do best. I am strong. I am popular. Everywhere I go, they know me, they call my name. My name puts smiles on the lips of many, and fear in the eyes of a few. They love me and I love them too. They are the reason I push on, to make them proud.
I believe we are all equal; black and white. We are all strong. It all depends on how hard we push. If I can push, then you can push. Hey, you wanna be strong? Then you got to learn to push! You got to learn to command your body. 20 push-ups and 40 sit-ups a day makes you strong. You are not weak, there’s no such thing as weak.
I took it hard in my day, and now I’ve become a slave to my body. Ironic, right? But I played my part. I sent a message far and wide. I changed the word, I made it a better place for children yet unborn. Now my body fails me, and my speech is impaired. My muscles are stiff and my limbs vibrate.
The strength of a winner also lies in knowing when to call it quits. But I must leave my last message with you, my legacy:
My name is Muhammad Ali, and I was a boxer. Remember me, not as a man whose body failed him, but as a man who won the heavyweight title three times. Remember me as a cheerful man who treated everyone right, as a man who never looked down on those who looked up to me, as a man who stood up for his beliefs. Remember me as a man who tried to unite all mankind through faith and love.
I have played my part. Now play yours.