Rekindling The Fire: Murderball, Motivation, & Acceptance

Rekindling The Fire: Murderball, Motivation, & Acceptance

By: Samantha Sito
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One very prominent thing that I’ve faced in the past few years as a university student is that it’s hard to keep the motivation to succeed going. This is especially true when we have moments where the future just seems so uncertain and we watch as other people do the things that we aspire to.

For anyone who’s experiencing a season of‘burn out’as I would like to call it, I would recommend a film I watched in my sports psychology class, called (fantastic title for a movie, don’t you think?). Being that it’s a documentary about Paralympic athletes, you might be wondering what it could have to do with rekindling your lost motivation towards your career goals. As it happens, the movie has a ton of overlap and inspiration relevant to the motivational challenges students face every day. 

From IMDb:

A film about paraplegics who play full-contact rugby in Mad Max-style wheelchairs - overcoming unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Murderball teaches many things about careers and goals in life: the value of motivation; how to pick yourself up; and learning to face obstacles, beat those obstacles, and then use what you have towards helping others, sharing the influence and inspiration that you've gained.

As students (and people in general), we often get caught up in chasing after things we don't have. As a result, it can be really easy to forget everything you already have. But if you take a step back to reflect, you can change your perspective and appreciate the present. Try to accept every success with gratitude and modesty, and every failure as a step towards making you stronger.

What makes this movie memorable is the tangibly physical element of losing the ability to do the things that these athletes used to be able to do. Can you imagine that transition? On film, we watch the journeys the athletes go through in accepting their physical limitations and making the best of them.

This then brings about the question: ‘What drives us to excel?’. What is it that brings about that burst of inspiration? Surely it's not necessary to lose a limb to gain such motivation. Some of us get it in the weirdest places: it could be the toilet, or the bus, or the pub - whatever! That sudden jolt of excitement that comes about whenever we get a string of ideas on what to do with our lives is a fleeting, but distinctly human experience. The athletes in this film are no different, proving that everyone needs a moment where they snap out of the limbo of demotivation towards making something out of your life.

For anyone who would like to watch a movie that makes you think about how lucky we are to have what we have, no matter how big or small, and to change your perceptions (even for a moment) about the tiny things in life that make it great, make sure to check out Murderball.

Finally, here's a funny video for your enjoyment and to shine some light into appreciating what you have!


Lead image by author.

Samantha Sito

Samantha Sito is a career peer educator, and is currently a fourth year Psychology student with a minor in Counselling and Human Development. On the side, she also has a personal blog at and writes for Vancity Buzz

Posted on November 20, 2013