Let begin by confessing that I’m a sucker for a good motivational sports video. I eat them up. They make me want to hop out of bed and get to the gym, or on my bike, all the while realizing how corny and cheesy they are. But that doesn’t matter. They stir me up and they get something right. They speak to me about the importance of effort and commitment and hard work. (I’ve written a bit about that here, What sorts of motivational sayings motivate you?)
The Grind (I’d like the alarm clock version! )
Swimming version of the Grind
Protect this House
Michael Jordan ‘Maybe It’s My Fault’
Meet the super humans, 2012 Paralympics ad
Now read What Fitness Tells Us About Conservatism’s Appeal. Here’s a short excerpt:
Eliminate the politics and nearly everyone of any partisan stripe idealizes conservative principles without realizing it.
How? Consider the world of sport and fitness. It’s nearly always a fantastic encouragement of individual expression and ability while also promoting a positive community at large. Those hard working, disciplined, don’t-give-up mantras have become more prominent in the last few years as America’s athletic personality has swelled with amateurs.
Mentally tough and intuitively conservative-minded concepts of hard work and personal responsibility accompany these ventures.
Does that make you feel differently about the videos and their messages?
For what it’s worth, I love hard work and personal responsibility. But I think the commentator above misses out though on some of the other lessons sports teach us. How about these ones? A team is only is strong as its weakest member. Never underestimate the power of teamwork. Respect your opponent. Everyone has something to contribute. We can do far more together than we can do alone.
Equally cheesy, I know, but just as important. It’s not all about individual effort. It’s also about working hard as a team and sometimes that means putting yourself aside for the good of the group.
Do you have any favourite inspirational sports videos? Do you think their message is inherently conservative?
Personally, I’m not ready to cede the language of hard work and responsibility to the right.