Invictus

Mon – 2400m swim, some bike
Tues – 20mile bike, 30min run
Wed – 2500m swim, 30 min strength, 30min bike
Thur – 1mile cross train, 2k run, 5mile bike, 1.5k run, 5mile bike, 1mile cross train, 5mile bike

Last night, I bit the bullet of expensive entertainment and went to see ‘Invictus’ with LB (this year, LB actually signed my valentines card ‘LB’ – the blog has evidently begun to seep into all aspects of life!). The film tells the story of South African apartheid, and the role the Springbooke rugby team had to play in it’s gradual disintegration under the careful handling of Nelson Mandela.

Anyone could criticise the film for exaggeration and idealism. With the country still rife with racism, corruption and crime, the closing scenes of races intertwined and brotherly love seemed somewhat unbelievable. However, the film struck a cord with me.

As the rugby players fought on through unsupportive fans, their motivation dwindled and they lost games. Even their coach could barely see the potential in his team, using the ‘taste of defeat’ to impress upon his players the need to work harder. As a result, they only floundered still further, sinking to the bottom of the heap of world rugby. When one man (Mandela) handed them the candle of self belief, and the chance to make their country proud – all was transformed.

Attitude goes a long way. It is true that the body can only perform what it is capable of, but the mind can capture whatever it so desires. Coincidentally, the mind controls the body. Self belief can transform a failing team into winners, and it can turn a mediocre athlete into a champion.

As William Ernest Henley wrote, so beautifully:
‘I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.’

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