I don’t particularly have an interest in fútbol a.k.a. soccer, but when I was invited to a launch screening of “Frente al Reto”, I happily accepted to support a dear friend. The interview series airs on ESPN Deportes and tells the stories of select professional soccer players. Again, not my favorite subject nor my first language, but hearing individual stories and the challenges these players face in their lives struck a note in me.
The title of the show, “Frente al Reto” means “facing your challenge.” The stories told are all different and touch on their individual situations that transcend the interviewees having soccer in common. It doesn’t matter what language you understand, the concept and thoughts behind the show can inspire anyone. I was intrigued to learn more about these players and what made them interesting, but what really got me inspired and thinking was the intro to the show.
The introduction encapsulates the idea of “Frente al Reto” beautifully in depicting the uniqueness of each story shared. During the introduction music, various photos in a home peel out of their frames and slowly float out of the apartment. Once outside, these photos join in a flying parade of photos from other homes, people, and lives. The introduction ends in a soccer stadium with the photos joining to form the text for the title.
While watching the pictures fly, and with the aid of touching accompaniment music, I thought about how the players in the show aren’t just subjects of interest, celebrities, or stars. They’re people. They’re individuals. They each have their own stories, backgrounds, circumstances, and present. It’s not just a story that is being told, it is their story, a taste of their life, a peek at what lies beneath for them. They’re not just someone to be observed, to entertain, or dissect from the outside. They are dealing with their own struggles and tests, and in “Frente al Reto” they prove they are facing their challenge at hand.
The show doesn’t resolve the problems posed for each athlete interviewed. Instead, “Frente al Reto” lets the players talk about what they see as their challenge and what their coming steps are in facing it. Each of the players is in a different point in their career with unique situations and expectations, just as each of us is up against something different in our lives. The key is to face our difficulties, go through them, and then face ones that come after. As the show says:
Siempre enfrenta el reto- always face the challenge.
We all have our own challenges. We all have expectations from ourselves and others, and how to meet or beat them. We have physical and tangible difficulties. We have things in our mind that test us. We have things we deem as pressures, both from the outside and within. And as things change, we will always face something that tests, questions, and demands more from us. The simple yet important thought to keep in mind is to face it, and keep facing our challenges.
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