Momentum Generation

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. 

Daniel Duane (from Outside Online)
Sunset in Dana Point, CA

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!