November 27, 2022

A Reminder from Will Stoneman

Will Stoneman. He's a character to draw strength and inspiration from. The main character in the movie, Iron Will.

He's a 17-year old boy from South Dakota, who joined a dog-sled race in Canada. He was the underdog, competing against intimidating, experienced mushers.

It's the perfect Sunday movie—I might have cried two-thirds of the time. And it reminded me of three important traits that all of us should have, if we want our dreams to become reality: determination, perseverance, and belief.


Will Stoneman needed the cash prize—for his family's farm and for college. He had one goal: win the race.

To prepare for the race, he trained hard for a month (the only time left before the competition). He worked on his strength, balance, and mobility. Then, he traveled to Winnipeg.

During the race, he ate fruitcake which he brought from home, not wanting to waste time cooking food.

He follows his trainer's advice, to "run longer, sleep less." Before dawn every morning, he would get up earlier than his competitors and cover ground. This was the only way he could compete with the experienced mushers. And he didn't miss a single early morning.

He made all these sacrifices because he had his eyes fixed on one goal. He's going to win the race.


With little food and sleep, and the merciless cold, Will was exhausted. His face was red and dry, with snow on his eyelashes. His muscles were sore; his whole body probably ached. But he pushed forward.

One particularly violent competitor even tried to have Will's lead dog killed. And after that, Will's sled was destroyed in an accident.

But he pushed forward. Always forward.

He was going to win, whatever obstacle he faces along the way. That's iron will. That's perseverance.


Will was confident. Before the race, he told his mom and his friend that he'd win. He claimed it in front of everyone in the opening event. He knew it in his heart. He had a real chance and he's going to see it through.

It gave him the courage to join the race, the energy and enthusiasm that pushed him to the front at the first stretch, and the determination and perseverance that got him to the finish line—that helped him win.

He was the underdog. He won against the seasoned, formidable athletes. He had to sacrifice comforts, he had to run longer and work harder, but he won.

Remember that. When we are facing giants, let's summon our inner iron will.