Movies To Keep You Motivated
As of this weekend, I will have done something that I have never done before. You see, outside of being a film nut, I’m also a runner. For reasons beyond me, I decided one day that it might be fun to do a triathlon. And so I’m doing one this weekend. Swim, then bike, then run.
Heaven help me.
I mean, it’s one thing to say you’re going to do something like that, but it’s a whole other ball game to actually try it. There have been many times when I’ve felt like giving up. But I always find solace in the thing nearest and dearest to my heart — the movies. I know even in the film world, I’m not the only person to try and accomplish things outside of my reach. Films have continued to inspire and motivate me through many aspects of my life, and challenging myself physically is no different. So for this week I’d like to take a look at my four favourite motivational films that have kept me inspired through this.
What it’s about: When I first heard about this movie coming out, I knew I was going to love it. Simon Pegg plays the classic slacker who decides to win back the woman he lost. The only thing he has to do is run a marathon. Piece of cake, right? Not so much.
Why it’s inspirational: For starters, the thing that attracted me to the idea of this film in the first place was the challenge. As someone who has always wanted to run a marathon, I found the whole attitude of “even this guy can do it” an appealing watch. But what makes me enjoy it the most is how it presents the problem of “hitting the wall”. This is a point that athletes fear reaching, because the body begins to shut down, exhaustion sets in, and the lack of dopamine that was cheering you before is now telling you to give up. As someone who has experienced it before, I love not only the way it’s presented but the pleasure of seeing Simon Pegg overcome it. Run on!
What it’s about: Frank is a man who’s just lost his job after years of being loyal. While out on a “booze cruise” with a few of his friends, he decides to do something crazy: he announces that he will swim the English Channel. He decides to keep it a secret from his wife and his son. But will this be a mistake? And can he actually achieve his goal?
Why it’s inspirational: When it comes to pool swimming, I feel fairly confident. But when it comes to swimming in open water, I am out of my comfort zone. Trying to imagine Frank in those similar circumstances, but swimming twenty miles farther than me in frigid cold water, and I have to give the man an impressive nod. The combination of his determination, his stubbornness, and the refusal to let his age or past losses hold him back, makes me feel that if Frank can do it, then so can I.
What it’s about: If you haven’t seen this excellent Pixar film, you should. The story of a know-it-all speed demon getting caught in a small and sleepy town and learning a few lessons along the way is well executed here.
Why it’s inspirational: The first time I saw this film, the ending caught me by surprise. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it’s less about the win/loss of the race and more about how you feel about it. You are the only person who decides whether or not what you’ve done is a success. It also reminded me how important it is to surround yourself with people who are rooting for you, whether you run the race alone or not. Sure, you do it for yourself. But it’s a lot easier to push yourself across that finish line knowing someone rooting for you is waiting to catch you on the other side.
What He’s All About: Protecting the innocent, breaking out his martial arts moves, being awesome
Why He’s Inspirational: Maybe I’m the only person who feels this way, but every time I see a Jackie Chan movie, the first thing I want to do is go out and join a dojo. Or take self defence classes. Or pretend that I know karate. The bottom line is that, when he was in his prime, Jackie Chan could do just about anything. He could move fast, hit hard, and bounce back from even the worst stunts, all with a smile. Seeing him in film reminds me to this day that no matter how hard I’m running or how much pain I’m trying to push through, I should still be finding a way to go farther, harder, and still try to have fun.