Inspiration can always be found in sports movies. There is a talent pool in Hollywood that writes some of the most eloquent speeches and soliloquies for movies. I've seen people try to replicate the drama and feeling, but it's never quite the same as when it comes from the mouth of someone like Al Paccino.
I watched Any Given Sunday again this past weekend and was reminded of this speech (Parental Discretion is advised due to a couple of rough words - PG-13). One of the things that struck me about it was how it so easily applies to swimming.
You know when you get old in life, things get taken from you.That's, that's part of life.
But, you only learn that when you start losing stuff.
You find out that life is just a game of inches.
So is football.
Because in either game life or football the margin for error is so small.
I mean one half step too late or to early - you don't quite make it.
One half second too slow or too fast and you don't quite catch it.
The inches we need are everywhere around us.
Swimming is a game of inches. A tenth of a second too early - DQ. A hundredth of a second too late, missing a medal or a team selection. The margin of error is so small! Learning to focus and perform in that moment and relying on yourself is such an important part of the sport and such an important part of life. Focusing on "what's important now" (W.I.N.) - hand position, how many strokes you're taking, how many breaths you're taking; your race plan - that six inches in front of your face.
...Because that is what LIVING is - The six inches in front of your face.
Anyway, a great speech and performance by Al Paccino. Check it out!