Our unexpected stay in Devon has bought some fringe benefits and one of those has been the chance to watch more movies on Amazon Prime and Netflix. Whilst we enjoy a rom-com and a good thriller like the next person, we particularly like watching films that makes us think. Sometimes these are the typical big budget productions like Apple Mortgage Cake, or Self Made, but equally they can be low-budget, documentary-style features based on true stories of ordinary people.
Two in particular gave us pause for thought: The Longest Journey and From Fat to Finish Line. The first featured a group of amateur cyclists undertaking the Race Across America, a 3000-mile relay cycle race to raise awareness of ALS, and the second was a team of runners undertaking a 200-mile relay race in the Florida Keys.
Both stories showed the power of the human spirit, but also particularly the extra achievement that can come from working together as a group. In the two teams, individuals dug deep and kept going because of their self-imposed obligation to the team. Had they been just competing for themselves they would have given up, but as team members they soldiered on.
Talking of soldiering, in my (very brief) time in the army I learnt that military training focuses on creating an allegiance to the unit (platoon, company or regiment). As a result, much of a soldier’s bravery when under fire comes from not wanting to let their buddies down. In a team, we hold ourselves to a higher standard, it seems.
To quote another cliché favoured by the manufacturers of motivational posters, “Together Everyone Achieves More”. As we transition into a new, socially-distant world we must remember the importance of maintaining those team connections. We may reduce infections by being distant, but we may also sacrifice collective endeavour and thus level of attainment (not to mention costs to mental health).
We all need to remember to look out for those on our team – whether at home, in our community, at work, or in our wider network. You Never Walk Alone, unless you choose to. I hope you can be there for others, and have others there for you.
Just a quick update on our lockdown life. We’re still doing lots of walking: up to 18 miles at a time now. We are still enjoying spending time together and talking to each other.
We also noticed how many people commented on the last blog where I “confessed” that we enjoyed being together. Isn’t it interesting that such a thing was worthy of comment?! Why are we all surprised that people who have been married 26 years like to be together? Room for another blog there I think….
It is starting to look like we will be on the road again during July. France opens up to Brits on Monday, so after visiting relatives and friends once UK lockdown ends, we might be back on our original plan in August. Who knows?!
Stay safe and stay well.