(I'll pause while you take a moment to add it to your queue.)
The moment we saw it on the screen, we just had to watch it. For me, it's been years since I last felt the rhythm and the rhyme, and I was pretty excited that I could watch it at the touch of a button.
One of the movie's main themes follows the idea of doing what you love and truly dedicating yourself to your dreams. There's a line in the movie that I think is particularly important for ANY athlete, especially the thousands of us who will never be the best in the world. Okay, there are actually dozens of great lines that every athlete should hear, but the BEST one is this:
Ain't it the truth?
We're always competing when we run (or play or sport however we sport), whether it is against others at the front of the pack, against our own times for a PR, or even against our goals. Getting caught up in the heat of competition can be a good thing, but it's so important to remember at the end of the day that winning isn't everything. I mean, no one really wants to play for the Hawks, right? (Whoops, wrong movie, we'll get to that one another day...)
You earn a gold medal every time you lace up your shoes and head to the treadmill or the trail. You earn gold every time you go to the gym after work instead of going home to loaf. You earn gold every time you grab a healthy snack instead of fast food. You may not have the best gear, or the best training equipment, but you earn gold every time you adapt to keep pushing yourself. Whatever it is you're doing to help you compete, against whatever it is you are competing, is what makes you worthy of the gold medal.
We make do with what we have, when we want it enough!
The spirit of making do and constantly pushing despite limitations makes for an amazing movie. Although the "true story" of the team is pretty different from the movie, the inspirational material offers more truth than critics will credit. Definitely a must-watch for any young athletes, and a time-tested rewatch for adults who need a reminder of what really counts.
And now that I'm all caught up in the Jamaican excitement, it's probably time to watch a little Jamaican Inspector Man...
Gus, don't be the rude jerk from the German bobsled team.