I was encourage recently to watch the movie Forever Strong. Maybe you have seen it or heard of the movie? It’s a 2008 rugby film directed by Ryan Little and written by David Pliler. Rugby is one of the few school sports that my family hasn’t been involved with directly and yet I do like a good sports movie now and again!
The story is about a rugby player named Rick Penning. He was captain of the team, a team that was fuelled by drugs & alcohol and ‘win at all cost’ attitude. What made it even more compromised was the team was coached by his own dad in whom Rick didn’t see eye-to-eye with. Due to some poor choices, Rick lands up in a Juvenile Detention Center. The manager of the Juvenile Detention Center gets Rick connected with the Highland Rugby team. Coach Larry Gelwix of the Highland Rugby Team took Rick in when he was at his lowest.
In pondering the theme of the movie, Forever Strong, I couldn’t help but introspect about my own life and the lives of those around me. Coach Gelwix led his team with the theme: “Be forever strong on the field, so that you will be forever strong off the field.” What does that mean exactly?
Like my friend and mentor, D. Scott Pullan, would do, I dug a little deeper into the meaning of “forever strong”. Forever means continually, always, without ever ending. Strong means able to withstand great force or pressure, having moral, intellectual, or physical power, having great resources. Put those two words together and the meaning of “forever strong” means continually powerful in moral, intellect, or physical power. I would love to be remembered by that phrase, wouldn’t you?
This phrase “forever strong” served the Highland Rugby Team. They won 20 of 27 USA Rugby National Championships, six times runner-up, and one third-place finish all under Coach Larry Gelwix, a man of faith. That’s impressive. Coach Gelwix told Rick in one scene “Learn to listen and pay attention to that spirit inside of you. Learning to listen takes a lot of discipline. We only have one rule here: Don’t do anything that would embarrass you, your team, or your family.”
Some of the team’s founding beliefs were: “No drinking, no smoking, no drugs, keep clean with the girls, no cheating, no lying, be true to your character and your family. Have complete trust in each other! We are about winning – get a laser-like focus on every area of your life both on the field and off. Respect your family & ancestors. We stand on this field ready for battle. We honor our families & all our ancestors before us. We wear the emblem ‘to die for’ over our hearts.” I get chills when I heard this – the good kind of chills! You get the feel good feeling that these men are being trained for a higher good and achievement in life. A forgiveness & surrender quote that is worth sharing, “Don’t spend another minute being angry about yesterday. Free him, and you free yourself.” Forgiving someone is about letting the other person off the hook – whether we down deep think they deserve it or not. What are you waiting for? Who do you get to forgive today?
So in closing I found the key – “get laser-like focused” in every area of your life! Let nothing stand in the way of you and your dreams & goals. You are worth it. God created you uniquely and beautifully suited for great things. Get cleaned out of the “schtuff” that’s hindering you in moving forward, get balanced in every area of your life, and get crystal focused on what you want to change about your life. You can do it; I believe in you.
Be Forever Strong – Coach Trudy