When you were a kid, I bet every time your parents told you vital information, you just threw it away like a fortune in a....well, fortune cookie. However, when they give you advice pertaining to your career, you actually install that information into your longterm memory. After being invited to a screening of Eddie the Eagle, a biopic on Michael Edwards, a British ski jumper who participated in the '88 Olympics in Canada, I couldn't help but notice certain parallels between Eddie and I.
The movie is amazing; let's get that out the way. As stated previously, I seen myself in Eddie. Although I am not a ski jumper, nor a Caucasian Brit, the story is universal. It's rare for me to cry during a movie, but this one had a few that activated my tear ducts. So, here are four moments that I thought reflect my own life.
When I was eight years old, my older brother picked me up from school and we would walk on this trail on a dirt hill. Vaguely remember the reason why I was chasing him, but I remember heavily the aftermath of the chase. There was a broken tree branch sticking out of a fence. Unbeknownst to my eight year old self, I run past the branch, cutting my knee;trip on a rock and hit my knee on that same rock, spraining my knee. Growing up, we didn't have a lot of money and unfortunately, couldn't afford a doctor. I was limping for three months and when it came to playing games with other kids, I was always picked last.....or not at all.
Although the film doesn't explain what caused Eddie's knee injury, I could empathize with him, after seeing other children refusing to let him participate in any games. I'll come back to this subject later.
Never Meet Your Heroes
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not very athletic nor am I a diehard sports fan. Correction, I love the NBA and basketball, in general. It's the other sports, that I don't follow. Mainly football. When it comes to the Super Bowl, I just root for the commercials. Granted, this year I was rooting for the Denver Broncos, because not only is my father a diehard Broncos fan, but I went to school with running back, C.J. Anderson. I seen him around campus, but we don't know each other personally, but he knows my younger brother from his days playing ball at the gym. Speaking of my little brother, he is actually a basketball player and is currently playing at Santa Rosa. When he was twelve, his team participated in an AAU tournament that took place in Reno. My brother's first team that he defeated had a son of one of the San Francisco 49ers.
Though I wasn't a fan of the Niners, I still thought it would be cool to get a picture with this player. I go up to him and ask for an autograph, but he declined, very arrogantly. I lost all respect of that person to this very day.
In the film, Eddie comes across a famous ski jumper by the name of Matti Nykänen, played by Edvin Endre. After Eddie, a massive Olympics fan, started geeking out and introduced himself to Matti, he asked for an autograph. Matti, just like the 49er I came across in Reno, refused. I'm sure Eddie lost respect for him, afterwards.
You Never Know Who You'll Meet
I have a funny Super Bowl story, that took place this year. Walking to Jack in the Box, a burger joint for those who live on the East coast, I see a bus strictly for wine tours in Napa. I didn't think nothing of it, because the area I live in is a pretty working class suburban area, next door to where I grew up: Vallejo. I walk inside to see about fifteen people, possibly from the tour, waiting for their food. After ordering my food, I decided to start conversation with a tall Black man, probably in his fifties, munching on fries, taking selfies with some of the other tourists. I asked him, "I take it you all are here for the Super Bowl?" He responds, "Yes, sir. We're gonna be on the sky box." After giving him a Bay Area welcome, he thanked me, received his order and headed out to the bus with the other tourists. After receiving my order, the employee friend at Jack in the Box told me that the man I was talking to, was NFL Legend, Franco Harris. I guess it helped that football and I don't blend well like water and oil.
Approaching a slope to ski jump, Eddie is given a tip about the slope by some random snow plowman. After failing the jump, painfully, he is approached again by this snow plowman. Later on in the film, Eddie is told that that snow plowman is actually a former American ski jumper, Bronson Peary. Some Olympic fan Eddie is, right? Point being, you never know who you will run into. That person could be a legend or your next trainer to help you get to a championship.
Prove Them Wrong
Have you ever heard So Ambitious by Jay-Z when he says, "I felt so inspired by what my teacher said. She said I'll either be dead or a reefer. Not sure if that's how adults should speak to kids, especially since the only thing I did was speak in class"? Or what about the song Juicy by Biggie when he opens the song with, "This is to all you teachers who told me I wouldn't amount to nothing."? In middle school, I had an assistant vice principal, blatantly tell me in my face, that I wouldn't get far in life.
Eddie had an entire Olympic committee, try to bring him down and refute his proposal to represent London in the Winter Olympics, but just like Eddie, I never gave up either. I went to graduate college and earn my Bachelor's Degree in Film. I've been taught my entire life by my parents, that the best revenge is to prove others wrong. Funny enough, in the film, Eddie states, "The greatest victory is to prove others wrong." Though Eddie does not have gold medal to his name, he became a walking success story by not giving up.
In conclusion, seeing all those moments made me realize that stories are very omnipresent. You never know what someone is going through, what story they have attached to them.