while sonny was out of town recently i used my redbox free rental code and chose the most "un-sonny" movie i could find to watch by myself after the boys went to bed. "pride" did not let me down in that department. it was pushing the envelope of cheesy, even for me. it had all of the cliches of a "person goes in to rough neighborhood and acts as savior" and all the formulas of a "sports triumph" film. wow.
so-why am i taking up space in my blog with it? apart from the obligatory romance and a few other details ....this story is TRUE! there really was a man named jim ellis and he really did invest his life into teens all others had relegated to the "lost cause" pile. he really did coach them and invest in them and shape their character...and the best part it....HE STILL IS! to this day, over 35 years later, the man is still coaching swimming at the same pool, in the same at-risk neighborhood, and his program at the Marcus Foster pool has sent swimmers to the swimming trials for every U.S. Olympic team since 1992...whoah!
the reason i am telling you all of this is because i want to honor and celebrate not just the accomplishments of this swim team and their athletes and all of the intense work it takes to get to that level, but i want to elevate the man who has given his life to people who others have "thrown away." he goes day in and day out to a low or no-paying job with kids that have not been taught to respect and he pours his life out. thirty-five years. that's something worth talking about. that's a person who deserves our attention, and who in God's economy is a celebrity.