When I watched this inspiring documentary, I immediately thought I’d write about it. My idea of a traditional ‘review’ quickly disappeared. I deemed that idea obsolete for no other reason in that, I’m still thinking about the ideas, themes and inspiration I’ve taken from the film. I suppose that’s the best thing any form of art can do; make the viewer think, daydream, learn and take action.
For a movie so outwardly uncomplicated, Momentum Generation, by directors (and brothers) Jeff and Michael Zimbalist,is remarkably hard to define.
If you’re like me, you probably don’t think of surfing as a team sport. For a novice who is dying to learn, I see a solitary pursuit of excellence among often fierce elements. As a lifelong participant (and coach of) team sports, I’ve become more intrigued by solo endeavors in recent years. This, in no small way, coincides with my triathlon pursuits. I often think of one of my first century rides (100 miles) where I found myself among the tall pine trees and crisp air of Black Forest, CO. If you’ve ever been for a ride in CO, you know oxygen is scarce and flat earth never lasts. In the midst of a roller coaster of climbs, I was engulfed by the solitude around me. Although the ride (Elephant Rock Ride) has hundreds of participants, I found myself completely alone with only my thoughts. This was, at the same time, exhilarating and terrifying.
After graduating to triathlons of various lengths, I acquired a greater appreciation for the juxtaposition of individual sports compared to team sports. With triathlon, I am ultimately competing against me while drawing inspiration and strength from other competitors. I’ve often wondered if surfing has a similar energy and rhythm. Watching Momentum Generation gave me pause for a number of reasons. I was in awe at the fearlessness, artistry and dedication displayed in the water. Beyond that, the connections in and out of the water could have just as easily happened in a hockey locker room or on a bus traversing Saskatchewan. Beyond that, the connections among the guys will resonate with anyone who has spent time in a locker room or any other space that gathers people pursuing a goal. While camaraderie is an inherent part of team sports, could those connections you have to seek out when running, riding, skating or surfing (solo) be just as deep? I look forward to finding out!