Brother of another mother
I don’t like bandwagons, especially when it comes to jumping onto them. But I feel like telling the world about my very good friend Fitz Vanderpool today.
We met by chance at a film festival. He sat directly behind me and I must have smelled really good. We got to talk about life and film. One thing led to another and I decided I wanted to make a film about this crazy guy. Over the next couple of years I followed him around and just let the camera capture his story.
His life has challenges, some of them are very big challenges. But by in large the challenges were not because of the colour of his skin. It was because of the break down of his relationship and the career path he chose (An entrepreneur operating a boxing gym). Most likely he has experienced racial stereotypes and treatments in his daily life in Canada but he has never complained to me about them. So they either didn’t affect him that much or he chooses to ignore them and push past them.
That is the kind of man Fitz is, a person who believes in the power of his body and mind. His motto is “With Hope it’s Possible”. He knows that through hardwork and perseverance all challenges can be overcome. Over the years I have learned a huge amount from Fitz. But his drive to overcome obstacles is what imprinted on my soul.
I canvased for him when he was running for member of parliament and he came to my film screenings. I went to his gym re-openings and he became one of my first patrons. We are in each other’s lives and are true brothers in every sense of the word. He came from the Caribbeans; his ancestors were enslaved to harvest sugar cane; he can never get sunburnt, these were incidental facts that never affected our relationship at all. Nor should they in an ideal world.
The truth is, Fitz never made me feel privileged, or guilty, or obligated to help him. He taught me that every person has their own unique hardships. If he or she can meet life’s punches face on; take it; feel that shock and pain; let the blood and sweat splatter then give yourself a count to five and get your ass off the stained mat and rush at the opponent with all you’ve got! — Fade to black.
Then you might, just might beat down what is standing in your way and obtain your glory. And if you don’t, you just give yourself another count to five and go at it again… Thank you my brother. I will always be in your corner and I can alway feel your presence in my.
Covit 19 has hit Fitz’s gym hard, just like everyone else. If you have a moment please send him a line of encouragement. If you are in the Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph area please consider joining his gym when it reopens. He has helped countless troubled teens get off the street and he cannot do it alone.
Below is the promo video to our film “With Hope It’s Possible”. The complete film will be available on my www.patreon.com/zenwang page. Thank you for watching.
I launched a Patreon page to better serve my readers and fans. For as little as $3 you can help support independent voices and the arts at www.patreon.com/zenwang
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