What The “Rudy” Story Can Teach Us About Healing

Most are likely looking at this pic going: huh…3 random sports figures thrown together, why them? Try to go w me on this….


With NBA All-Star coming up, I was thinking back to days when I was training staffs w sports teams…& I always loved using this example. Sports is such a good metaphor for life, whether you’re a fan or not. Now, looking to help ppl w their mental health, I can see how this example is also applicable to that arena.


Ask most anyone on the planet, & they’ve heard of Michael Jordan. Drafted in ‘84, he had more natural athleticism & “gifts” than just about anyone, wanted to win more than anyone, & went on to do just that: 6 titles in 15 seasons, no losses in any Finals. Took him a while to figure out the strategic part of the game, but once he did, was unstoppable. Became an icon.


Guy in the middle is Shawn Kemp. Drafted more recently than MJ – 1989 & himself played 14 seasons making 6 AS Games. When I’d ask anyone on my staffs (most born late 80s/early90s) who the man in the middle was, there was silence.


The pics here are important. Kemp could jump thru the roof. His talent was like a video game brought to life. He jumped & dunked w power & finesse – id say say at the time, as close to MJ as it came athletically (tho diff types of gifts); one-of-kind. So why is MJ, MJ, while young bucks working in sports don’t recognize Kemp?


Gifts you are born w only go so far. Match world-class gifts w world-class commitment & effort, you have a superstar. Match similar unique gifts w an attitude that it should just come to you because of your natural abilities, & you become one of many.


Not everyone cares abt achieving MJ status…nor are most of us born w gifts at that level in our field of focus. But who doesn’t know the movie “Rudy”? (don’t judge, but it’s the only movie where I cry at the end 😉). The guy is an icon bc he had a dream, went after it w all his might, despite gifts he lacked & still reached an unimaginable goal.


We’re all born w gifts, all at different levels. Most all of us will never be MJ…but here’s the thing: we can all become Rudy. Work, desire, attitude, commitment. When healing & getting better feels impossible bc of what life did/didn’t hand us, remember you can still reach any goal by wanting it more than anyone & putting in the effort. Truly healing from a mental health complication doesn’t come via a magic pill or special gifts. It takes hard work…but it’s a an outcome that if you really want, is absolutely within your power to make happen. #SameHere🤙

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