Eddie the Eagle: The Joy of the Underdog Within

Posted: May 5, 2018 by Ty in Spirituality
Tags: , , , ,

We all had those times in public school, when the teachers tried to inspire on a budget so they would bring in the inspirational movie story. The story of someone overcoming the odds. In Grade 11 CALM (Career and Life Management) our teacher brought in Disney’s Iron Will. Not the first time I had watched movies like that, and later as a youth pastor I found many movies that scattered throughout the genres (super hero, etc). As the City of Calgary begins talking about a 2026 Olympic bid, nostalgia of our 1988 Olympics is sitting in. The last fun Olympics in my mind. A time when dreams were still possible, and fun stories of overcoming to be there to simply compete could reign. It was the time of Jamaican Bobsled teams (as immortalized in the 1993 movie Cool Runnings). My Dad scored tickets for him and his boys to go to the bobsled races, which I can tell you much Image result for cool runnings trailerlike the speed skating practice I went to as a class, were not designed as uber spectator sports. But the energy of sharing stories, trading pins, and just being their to celebrate athletes not necessarily being the best in the world, but doing their best, achieving their goal…that was the energy of 1988.  And the bobsled was not the only sport that saw the unorthodox soar. Ski Jump saw Great Britain’s Michael “Eddie the Eagle” Edwards launch. Not the best in the world, but he still made the show and set records for his nation that last had a jumper in 1929. None of that mattered, for this was the culmination of a life dream, so simply being a part of the international celebration of humanity that was the Olympics. The movie Eddie the Eagle is the story of goals achieved. The challenge of overcoming the saboteur (in coaching lingo) that literally was lived out in Eddie’s life as his father, and the British Olympic head. Rolling with resistance in finding his coach.

I am not your coach. I am not teaching you to jump. I am teaching you to land.

Like other movies in this genre, it is more relate-able as it is closer in history of where we are now. It can seem a bit strange in a world where the Olympics have become a monetary focus, with only the elite being able to compete, not just the best a nation has to offer. But it is a great story for personal exploration, or group discussion. It is an attempt to unpack simple things:

  1. Who is the saboteur voice you hear when you try to accomplish your goals?
  2. How will succeeding change that voice?
  3. What will happen if you try?
  4. What is one step today you can take towards the action? tomorrow?
  5. Most importantly, what is it you are feeling called to do?

Note how I say, what you are called to do. Not what the world says you should or can do. For that is the beauty of the Underdog story, it is the personal call that resonates and challenges the societal norms. It is the confines that and imploded, as we come along for the journey of discovery, transformation and fun.

What is your underdog story?

What Eagle in you is set to soar?

How will you let that Eagle soar?


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