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So having watched the Paralympics ad for channel 4 last week, like many others I felt inspired. Yes the ad is one of the best I’ve ever seen, the editing is amazing, the continuity of the story is seamless even given the deliberate fast cuts dispersed at different points of it. Surprisingly the things that normally inspire me in an ad of that calibre seemed meaningless and insignificant. Probably for the first time in my life, I was inspired instead by the content. I doubt I’m the only one, but the paradox struck me.
Embedding the clip has been disabled at the request of Channel 4 but you can watch it here:
There is an attitude to life that Paralympians radiate that inspires me. The obstacles don’t matter, the crap that life throws at us doesn’t matter. Why should we allow any of it to hold us back from what we want to do? It’s a lesson that is so easily forgotten when the world seems to be against us.
I’m not going to even begin to pretend I know what I’m talking about when it comes to these extreme cases. I went through something I would consider a drop in the ocean compared to these guys when I was 16 and 17, people who know me well know what I’m talking about but I’ve always said to myself if I can mentally survive such a struggle at such a young age I can do anything. But like everyone, I forget that lesson from time to time. I guess the reason I feel compelled to write about this is because it has touched that nerve and reminded me of what I shouldn’t have ever allowed myself to forget.
The real beauty of the advert lies in how quickly it touches on the different back stories before immediately switching focus and true emphasis to the athletes’ survival and the empowerment it has given them.
It’s not about the barriers that stand in their way, it’s about the dismissal of them to still achieve world-class accomplishments, to compete at the highest level there is in each of their sports.
The key isn’t in overcoming one’s obstacles, it’s in the attitude we take in doing so. The outlook we take on life in the aftermath of such turmoil, be it a serious accident or something we were born with.
We all have the ability to survive.
We all have the ambition to achieve.
We all have the potential to be superhuman.
Why not start living like one?