For more than two decades 40-year-old Alva Williams of Upstate South Carolina has had a personal motto: “Failure is not an option.”
The Physical Abilities Test of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy is described thusly by WSPA-TV writer Robert Kittle:
“Recruits have to run around the outside of the half-court twice, then hop over two 18-inch obstacles, climb up a flight of stairs, down the other side then turn around and go up and down again, crawl under a pipe that’s three feet off the ground, jump over a 6-foot-wide “ditch”, jump over a 4-and-a-half foot fence, and then climb through a ‘window’ that’s about 4-and-a-half feet off the ground, then drag a 150-pound sandbag, finishing with another lap around the perimeter. And they have to do all that in under 2 minutes and 6 seconds.”
Alva finished this physical test on two occasions just seconds over the time limit. Joining the next class of recruits, he conquered the obstacle course with 17 seconds to spare.
On Friday, October 30, Alva graduated from the Academy with two distinctions.
He won the Courage Award.
And, he became the first person in the state, and possibly the country, to accomplish what he did.
Alva has an above-the-knee leg prosthesis. His leg was amputated follwing a football injury when he was 16.
He is now an officer with the Travelers Rest, S.C., police department, fulfilling his longtime dream.
Need a feel-good moment today? Read Alva Williams’ inspiring story, beautifully conveyed by WSPA’s Kittle. (Scroll below the video for the article.)
And, the next time you encounter some seemingly insurmountable obstacle, remember Alva’s motto.