This weekend I caught the 2004 Disney film, Miracle, and pretty much loved it. Sure, it’s a cheesy Disney film where the underdog comes out on top, but it actually went down like that in real life, and I love when life gets cheesy. Have you seen it?
The movie’s about the hockey showdown between the USA and Russian teams in the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid. Team Russia had consistently won world and National championships since the mid-1950’s. Nobody expected that to change, especially after Russia trounced USA in the exhibition game, 10-3. USA went into the Olympics as a serious underdog, and the rivalry was only increased by the long Cold War.
But one man thought it could be different. Herb Brooks.
What Herb recognized was that Team USA couldn’t win the games playing the same way it had always played. To change the outcome, it’s necessary to change your approach. And that meant he had to find a new style of coaching Team USA.
So that’s what he did. He taught his team a style of play that incorporated European techniques. His focus was on building stamina and physicality so they could go hockey stick to hockey stick with the highly physical Team Russia. He was confrontational, constantly goading them into doing more, being more, giving more. And, maybe most importantly, he formed them into one cohesive team, Team USA.
The game came down to the last five seconds, and the announcer, Al Michaels, asked the crowd, “Do you believe in miracles?!” Herb Brooks believed in miracles, and he ensured his team put in the work and dedication to make it possible.
Herb Brooks died before he was able to see the movie completed. The dedication at the end of the film is, “He never saw it. He lived it.”
Live your miracle.
Gibson’s Daily Running Quotes is one of my favorite sources for motivation! (Follow on Facebook.)
“This past weekend I ran my first 5K of the season… I looked at all of the ladies and realized that they all looked like what you expect runners to look like. They were all compact and muscular, with flat stomachs, visible abs, sinewy thighs. Probably they all had body-fat percentages in the teens.And then there was me.
I don’t look like a runner… I look solid and sturdy and thick. I’m tall – taller than most women and even most men. My stomach isn’t flat. It hasn’t been since…actually, I don’t think it ever has been flat. My thighs are muscular but not lean. And ‘compact’ is a word that describes my car, not my body. When I sign up for races, I qualify for the Bonnydale or Athena weight divisions – the female athletes who weigh over 150 pounds.
I don’t look like a runner.
And yet there I was, the third woman across the finish line. My body was slick with sweat, my face red with exertion, my feet barely touching the ground because I was running so f****** hard. I may not look like a runner, but I am one – a good one, too. And I’m only going to get better…
When I thought about the results of the race, I had to laugh because it all seemed so ridiculous. ‘I’m like walking proof that you don’t have to have visible abs to be fast,’ I said.
The more I thought about this, the more pleased I was. I hoped other women saw me and thought that they didn’t have to look like ripped fitness models to run fast. I hoped they understood that having a flat stomach or fat-free thighs were not a prerequisite for speed.
We need to talk about how the world is filled with runners who do not ‘look like runners.’ There are triathletes who do not ‘look like triathletes.’ There are dancers who do not ‘look like dancers.’ And yet we’re all out here, running and competing and dancing and doing all kinds of things with our bodies, things our bodies look like they should not be capable of doing, and yet there we are, doing them.
I don’t look like I should be a fast runner, and yet I am.
It’s not about what we look like. It’s what we do that counts.”
-Caitlin Constantine, Fit and Feminist
You were born to run. Maybe not that fast, maybe not that far, maybe not as efficiently as others. But to get up and move, to fire up that entire energy-producing, oxygen-delivering, bone-strengthening process we call running.
– Florence Griffith-Joyner