(updated June 2022)
One of my favorite movies of all time is Bagger Vance. Set in the Savannah, Georgia, post WWI. Directed by Robert Redford, it stars Charlize Theron, Will Smith as Bagger Vance (God on earth) who appears out of nowhere, to rescue battle weary, local golf hero, Captain Ranulph Junah (Matt Damon).
It’s a “feel good” movie about facing and overcoming limiting beliefs.
Junuh is the favorite son of Savannah, Georgia, and a noteworthy golfer. From a wealthy family, the beautiful Adele Invergordon (Charlize Theron) was Junuh’s girlfriend before he went off to war. While serving as a captain in the US Army during World War I, Junuh is traumatized when his entire company is wiped out in battle. Though he earns the Medal of Honor, he disappears after the war, returning to Georgia years later to live a shadowy life as a drunk, golf being just a distant memory.
We all have a purpose in life, gifts, talents, a purpose, that we are born with. Sometimes life can beat us down, and cause us to “lose our swing.” When we lose our way, life becomes a series of struggles.
At the start of the Great Depression (circa 1930), Adele is trying to recover her family’s lost fortune by holding a four-round, two-day exhibition match between Bobby Jones (Joel Gretsch) and Walter Hagen (Bruce McGill), the best golfers of the era, with a grand prize of $10,000, at a golf resort her father opened as the Depression struck. However, she needs a local participant to generate local interest.
Through 36 holes of golf as the backdrop, Bagger helps Junuh come to grips with his personal demons, find his swing, and get back into the game of life.
Like Junuh after the war, its easy to see how after years of poor sleep, chronic pain, low energy, potentially damaging drugs, and poor health, someone with fibromyalgia can give up on life.
Losing “your swing” leads to a life of struggle, unrealized dreams, goals, and ambitions. What are you missing out on? Time with your grandkids, or the chance to travel, or hobbies gone by the wayside?
The key is to find your swing, to enjoy life. Life doesn’t have to be a struggle.
The author, Steven Pressfield, weaves his tale using the unfolding lives of three men from three generations. Each man struggles to let go of emotional scars that haunt and torment his life. It is after each one reaches his lowest point that the presence of a mystical being, Bagger Vance, appears in the guise of a golf caddy to reveal a path that leads to greatness and self mastery.
The book is loosely based on the Bhagavad-Gita, the ancient Hindu epic and spiritual text of India. Bagger Vance represents the divine being that appears as a guide offering insight on how to live an authentic life.
The internal fight that each man faces is played out through his golf game. But the teaching here is not only about the golf swing. . .it’s about living the life you were born to live. Life is a struggle when we stray too far from our God given talents.
Golf is just the perfect vehicle for Pressfield to convey a deeper message, that each of us is meant to live an authentic, life of purpose and passion.
What are you passionate about?
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These patients and hundreds of others who’ve worked personally with me have in fact beaten their fibromyalgia. You can read or listen to their stories by clicking the link below: