I was a bit sick this past week, so I made a decision to sit out two of the afternoon classes,

which was especially disappointing because one of my favorite guest teachers was in town.
But my time away from class was not wasted. I slept. And, I watched Cool Runnings for the first time in maybe, 15 years?

Early morning Mijas

The majority of my viewing experience of Cool Runnings was just appreciating the nostalgia (if you haven’t seen it, it’s a goofy 90s movie about a team of Jamaican sprinters trying to make it to the olympics for bobsledding). But, then there was one scene that cut through my surface level entertainment.

The night before their biggest race, Derice asks his team’s coach, Irv (John Candy), why he cheated when he used to bobsled. This is their conversation:

(To the question of why Irv cheated)

Irv: It’s quite simple really, I had to win. You see Derice, I made winning my whole life. And when you make winning your whole life you have to keep on winning no matter what. You understand that?

Derice: No I don’t understand coach, you had two gold medals, you had it all.

Irv: Derice, a gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it.

Alozaina, riding to Ronda

This scene came to my mind this morning as I did the math in my head on how close I would be to being a journeyman by now had I been healthy and stayed in the apprenticeship.

Sometimes my mind can slip into this place of, “if I had only achieved the rank of journeyman, and gotten a couple of pipe certs along the way, I would feel like ‘I did it.'” In other words, I would be enough.

For many months I had that sentiment on replay in my mind. It’s only just now that I’ve been able to short circuit that downward spiral of thinking, and proclaim over myself, “wait a second! I am enough! Right now, I am enough.”

Ronda landscape

I am learning to not measure myself against what I have perceived to be “enough,” or “successful,” but instead meditate on that I was born to be loved. When I receive that I am loved by God, I become aware that I am enough.

If you’re living to reach a title, or a status, or earn some kind of award, how shaken would your identity be if you didn’t get it?


Here’s the Cool Runnings scene in all of its 90s acting glory: