A Film about Endurance
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him!” –Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
About a month ago, my brother and I saw the one day premier of Godspeed: The Race Across America. Godspeed is a documentary that covers Jerry Schemmel and Brad Cooper as they race from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland in just under a week’s time. The journey required a great deal of perseverance as the dual racers took shifts all through the day and night to get to their destination. The movie will be available sometime soon on DVD along with some study guide materials. You can click here to get more information.
Given my love of cycling, especially long-distance endurance efforts, I enjoyed this film on many levels. Boiling it down to one take-away, however, I would highlight the role of teamwork throughout the documentary. While some people complete the Race Across America solo, Jerry and Brad did it as a two person team. The documentary captured moments when one team member was struggling and the other one stepped in to help him. In those moments, the film’s heart peeks through. This film could have just as easily made the riders impenetrable. They could have shown how hard they worked, how they never gave up and how they pushed hard right until the end. But Godspeed instead included the times of failure, of difficulty, and of wanting desperately to give up. In those points of struggle, the team dug deep and pushed each other through to the finish.
Teamwork is a surprisingly essential element to cycling. When you watch the Tour de France this July, you may be attracted to the big names such as Cyclingnews’ top ten riders to watch: Chris Froome, Romain Bardet, Richie Porte and more. But many of these riders do not achieve stage wins on their own. When you look into the tactics of a given stage, you see a lot of instances where their teammates protected and positioned the team’s key rider to ensure that he has the best shot at winning the stage.
Perhaps you might not be planning to form a relay team to bike through day and night from one side of the United States to the other. You might not be planning to join the Tour de France this year. Neither am I. However, I can certainly guess that there are other struggles in your life or in the life of someone close to you. You can help carry their burdens when they need it and share your load with them when you need it. Speaking for myself, I need to constantly remind myself of the duty I owe my “teammates” to share their burdens and allow them to share mine.
Speaking of teammates, I want to take a moment to thank every one of my readers for your support. Ever since I started this blog, I have received so much encouragement from people who have gone out of their way to show appreciation for this blog. Thank you so much.