The movie Cinderella Man keeps showing up. The first time was when I got home from a work shift that went until the middle of the night, and I was able watch the final 15 minutes or so. I love the gritty, sentimental story of a man who took life's hard punches and kept coming back. It doesn't matter to me whether he won or not. The point is that he kept battling.
I was channel surfing this morning, and what was on? You guessed it. This time I watched the movie almost from the beginning, and there were so many scenes that weren't just good theater but life lessons that felt like a personal conversation. Sometimes life is tough. It hits you hard, and sometimes it kicks you directly in the crotch. But the point isn't that you've been kicked in the crotch, but what you do after that. James J. Braddock got back into the ring. He kept fighting. He never became one of the great boxing champions of all time, but he continued on with his character and integrity intact.
That is the definition of a champion.
Why this sudden reappearance of Cinderella Man in my life? Happenstance? A message that needs to be regarded? I don't know. I only know that the point is what I do after watching the movie twice.
I have dreams. I have goals, but there is a lot of clutter in parts of my life right now. It is time to clear out the clutter and move on. You see, those ideas of character and integrity are shining pillars to me. They are my anchors, along with family and faith. My God, family is such a blessing, a treasure. There also are all types of faith, and I reach to pull in as many of them as I can. It is a rich pursuit.
There is a companion piece to Cinderella Man. As I watched the movie, the lyrics to The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel kept coming to mind. I especially love the final verse:
In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev'ry glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame,
"I am leaving, I am leaving."
But the fighter still remains.
Yes, it's a lot like that.