The most important thing in the Olympic games

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There are a few things that I consider “loves” in my life. Music you know about and my recent nuptials revealed another. But there are others that I cannot imagine my life without. One such great love is movies. I wish I could say that I love the classics and watch them often to help me write songs or be inspired by them, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I like movies that have a story. I like action movies, animation, thriller….and don’t get me started on series. Actually, I like any movie that can hold my attention longer than 5mins to inspire my mind to want to create worlds that might never exist other than in the chambers of my mind. Romcoms you ask? Yes of course. What sort of a lady would I be if I didn’t enjoy the proverbial knight in shining armour who rides in on his white horse to save the day. But that knight has certainly taken many forms and shapes over the years, making me want to find a word that represented the gender opposite. What about a knightess….doesn’t have quite the ring to it does it?  I digress… Needless to say I watch a VERY large number of movies. I have actually lost count of how many movies I have watched over the years. Somehow I just loose myself in them.

I don’t think I‘m the type who cries easily when watching movies, except of course for a particular theme that I can never quite understand the reasons for.  Maybe it’s because it’s been so close to my heart, so much a part of my life’s journey as a musician…the heart knows. As shocking as this might sound I cry when a horse crosses over the finishing line, especially when it’s been the underdog for most of the race. I cried when in “Parental Guidance”, Turner takes Harper’s place in the recital and resolves his stutter by reciting the commentary from the ’Shot Heard Round the Word’.  I cried whenever Rocky Balboa won his matches after fighting to the bitter end without any sign of hope. Until of course we heard the theme music and then we knew it was THAT time. I can even hear that music in my head now…what a great score!

I had the pleasure of recently watching a movie that made me cry in my heart. Not tears of sadness, but tears of empathy, triumph and true joy. It’s been a while since a story has completely inspired me in this way. To know that you don’t always have to win the medal to be a winner. “Eddie the Eagle” is a movie based on a true story. It’s a wonderful, beautiful, inspiring movie about a boy who had a dream that he would some day enter the Olympic games. This wasn’t a small dream because to enter the Olympics one would have to be an outstanding athlete. At least that’s what we have been taught to believe and expect, but the movie teaches another lesson. The most inspiring part of the movie for me was that Eddie wasn’t an outstanding athlete. Well not in the conventional way anyhow. The founder of the Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin, said it best  “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.” Eddie is the epitome of someone who did just that. He fought well.

I really don’t want to give away too much of the movie, but this young boy works relentlessly. Without much raw talent he does what many just don’t have the heart to do anymore. He tries and he tries and he tries, and he does this with a weapon that few have-COURAGE. He knew what he wanted and he was prepared to do ANYTHING to get it.  He had everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, telling him, no, screaming at him, that there was no way he could do what he set his mind on doing. I found myself becoming so annoyed with all those people in the movie and couldn’t imagine what it must have felt like to know that you were completely alone in the race of your life. Although the movie doesn’t end like I wished it would, it ended better than I could have imagined. Not a Disney ending by any means. but an enormous lesson in courage and the power of the human spirit.

You cannot say you tried and failed if you didn’t take part. Standing on the outside looking in and finding all the reasons why you can’t isn’t going to get you the dream. I really encourage you to watch this movie if you haven’t already, especially if you have ever wanted to do something with your life that everyone including your closest friends and family told you that you couldn’t do. If you can see it and believe that you can do it, and are prepared to work for it , there is absolutely nothing that you cannot achieve. It’s only a matter of time, hard work, determination and of course the right choices. This story resonates not only with my life but so many people who have dared to dream. Just look at where a dream has taken Wade Van Niekerk.

Much love


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