Tangible Requirements this week: Watch one movie from this list: October Sky, Cool Runnings, Door-to-Door, Rudy. Look for the 4 tiny habits of persistence… (DMP+PMA+POA+MMA) and then write about it in your blog.
DMP: Definite Major Purpose
PMA: Positive Mental Attitude
POA: Plan of Action
MMA: Master Mind Alliance
n 1993 Walt Disney Pictures released Cool Runnings and created a Hollywood movie of the first ever Jamaican bobsled team that competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
The true life story begins with disaster for Jamaica’s top three 100 metre sprinters. Junior Bevil trips and falls, taking down Derice Bannock and Yul Brenner. Their Summer Olympic dreams are shattered.
Derice is a dreamer and finds a picture of his father Ben, and an Olympic bobsled champion Irv Blitzer, another dreamer. He believed that sprinters would make great bobsledders and tried to convince Derice’s father 10 years before, when the picture was taken.
Irv was an American bobsled two time Gold Medalist at the 1968 Winter Olympics, who finished first in two events again during the 1972 Winter Olympics, but was disqualified that year for cheating and retired in disgrace to Jamaica. You could see in Derice’s fiery eyes that none of that mattered.
He was determined to follow in the footsteps of his father and compete in the Olympics, no matter what season they were held. Derice wanted to make his deceased father proud. More than that he was determined. The down on his luck cheat had lost all self-confidence and kept putting Derice off, but Derice just kept on saying that he will come back the next day, and then the day after that, etc…
Whatever way Irving tried to push this opportunity away, Derice’s vision of what he wanted to achieve remained steadfast and his persistent unwavering determination won out. Og Mandino in the third scroll of The Greatest Salesman clearly describes Derice’s positive mental attitude, “So, long as there is breath in me, that long will I persist.”
Derice was never going to give up and take “No” for an answer. The only way to the Olympics was to bobsled. And, to do that they need a coach who knows what it takes to be a bobsled champion at the Winter Olympics.
Bobsledding is a winter sport requiring four team members to compete. Derice’s conviction and argument convinced his best friend, Sanka Coffie, a champion push cart racer, and the two sprinters Junior and Yul. The team was far from a happy unit as Yul was still angry at Junior and had to be held back from taking out his revenge.
The team’s luck just got worse. The coach Irv tried in vain to solicit support from local banks, but he was simply laughed at. Derice, Sanka and Yul managed to raise about $20 until Junior brings in a paper bag full of wads of money wrapped in rubber bands – $20,000 worth.
How did he do it? he says “I sold my car, but dad thinks I loaned it to a friend.”And then Junior shares, “He doesn’t know that I am on the bobsled team.” Dad is the one who knows best and Junior, a university graduate has no spine to stand up to his father.
So, now we have been introduced to the motley crew of losers: a disgraced coach, a man who flip flops, a man unable to control his rage, a shell of man who is only a sheep, but they came together because of the strength of Derice’s vision and they all make this vision their own. However, if you look closely, they all are looking for R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
The Jamaicans are all too easily led by others and after fighting in a bar, Irv (the coach) gives them a roast tells them to “take a deep hard look at yourselves”. They do the work and decide to R-E-S-P-E-C-T the coach and R-E-S-P-E-C-T the team and R-E-S-P-E-C-T themselves, because the next scene show the players in the coach’s bedroom with an alarm clock going of fright next to the coaches ear. It looked like 6 am which is not early for me, but in the film suggests a massive shift for the Jamaicans. They are all in now and ready to play flat out. They have made that commitment to themselves, to the team and to their country to be the best they possibly can. In real life back in 1988, the real team only had three months to prepare. When they go to Calgary they hadn’t even been in a real bobsled.
Back to the movie. The team bonds through their all-in focussed commitment to achieving their common goal. It’s that ‘now or never’ moment!
In the first competitive run they still give their power to others, to the the number 1 bobsled team in the world – the Swiss and mimic their “Eins, zwei, drei” starting routine. After pretending to be someone else, copying their ‘heroes’ their bobsled time is far off the pace and they are in last place. Derek, Sanga, Yul and Junior ‘mastermind’ fervently until Sanga remains strong and points out we are Jamaican and that we need to be Jamiacan and bobsled the Jamaican way. They all realized the truth of Sanga’s words and you see the result of being their own hero, their performance is such that they reach 8th place with the opportunity to get a medal.
They had borrowed an old sled which they painted to compete in the Winter Olympics and they didn’t have a pit crew.
“For the first half of the final day’s race it looks as though the team will push into medal contention, until misfortune strikes: due to the sled being old, it cannot handle the high speed and eventually one of the sled’s blades detaches from a loosening screw, causing it to flip onto its side as it comes out of a turn, leaving the team meters short of the finish line. Determined to finish the race, the team lift the sled over their shoulders and walk across the finish line to rousing applause from spectators.”
The team had a dream (DMP). They trained without a bobsled, without ice (an ineffective POA) and in Calgary they changed their attitude (PMA) and took whatever it took in the time available to reduce their race time (an effective POA) and even though they didn’t place, because of a loosened screw, the ‘rousing applause’ meant they achieved their ultimate goal, R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
In lak’ech, Grant
Unite in Unity