February 9, 2011

Eye of the tiger

One of my favorite modern French films is "Persepolis," an animated film about a young woman's life growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is based on the autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi.

As a child, Marjane has two obsessions: "shaving my legs one day, and being the last prophet of the galaxy." Her faith is an extremely important part of her life until she becomes overwhelmed with the tragedies that have been affecting her family, and she begins to yell at God, screaming at him to leave. For her safety, her parents send her to a French school in Austria; upon returning to Iran several years later, Marjane finds herself in a deep depression, and God reappears for another reassuring conversation (and brings a friend):
God: Why are you here, my dear?
Marjane: Well, I'm dead.
God: Don't you know your time hasn't come?
Marjane: It hasn't?
Karl Marx: You have to pull yourself together.
God: Yes! He's right for once!
Karl Marx: You have a lot to do. Get moving!
God: Go and do what you have to do.
Karl Marx: Remember, the struggle continues! Right?
God: *sigh* Yeah, the struggle continues.
This dialogue is followed by one of the greatest recovery scenes in a film, possibly ever:

Last month, after the stress of my visit with my family and everything that happened with Jon, I was in a weird mood, and it was really hard to shake. I had to get out of the rut. I needed to stop feeling bad about myself and come back to life. One day, I woke up with a quote from the movie in my mind, from one of God's earlier conversations with Marjane:
That's no way for a future prophet to behave ... have faith in my justice. You cannot wield it. Your duty is to forgive.
Cue my "Eye of the Tiger" moment.

I went online and looked up what distances I needed to do for a sprint triathlon. 5k run, 20k bike, and 750m swim. Then I went to the gym loaded with adrenaline, and I just did it. I ran on the track, then I biked on the recumbent bike, and then I swam in the lap pool. And I came out of it feeling strong and infinitely better than I had for the rest of that week.

My family drama and bad dating decisions can hardly compare to what Marjane was going through, not by a long shot. But still, it's very comforting to know that sometimes, all you really need is a reassuring conversation and a little faith ... with honorable mentions going to a nice hot shower, exercising, and getting back doing what you love and you're best at. Whenever I start feeling frustrated, sad, or angry, I think of the "Eye of the Tiger" recovery scene - and I pick myself up, dust myself off, and do whatever I can in order to start feeling better about myself.


Amy said...

Great post - I definitely am having one of those weeks!! While everything isn't clear yet and has yet to sort itself out, I should definitely just brush myself off and do what I need to do for myself!

Ann said...

Love it!!!!

Polar's Mom said...

Like it!!! Doing good!

Polar's Mom

Tim said...

Nice one! Would you ever consider doing an official triathlon event in the future?

Anonymous said...

Love the animation, the scene and the song. Thanks for posting that clip.
Glad you made it out of the rut.