Interview with Scotty Curlee, Director & Producer
By Jim Phelps
A new film, Extraordinary, opens in select theaters (including Lafayette, LA!) for ONE night on September 7, 2017. It tells the true marriage story of David Horton, ultra-marathon runner and college professor, and his wife, Nancy. We had the amazing opportunity to view the film screener and interview Scotty Curlee, a former semi-professional cyclist, award-winning writer, and director and producer of the film.
Scotty: You know, being an athlete myself, I competed at the Olympic trials in 1992. And you know, even in my own marriage with my wife, I really understood what it was like to be so driven and focused for the right purposes, hopefully, but at the same time be off base with life balance and family balance.
And it really hit home. I could really understand what Dave was trying to achieve by inspiring people – his students – and really trying to make a difference in lives of students and saying you can really accomplish whatever you put your heart and mind to. But at the same time, that comes at a cost.
And it’s really ladies like Nancy, who inspires him, encourages him, and prays for him. And I was in the same situation with my wife, Michelle, and so I saw it not only play out in Dave’s life, but also felt it, because I knew what it was like being an athlete and going through those emotions, and having those difficult conversations about “why are you doing this? Where is your heart? Where is your treasure?” So, it was very much an impactful film.
And then being Dave’s student and having him as a professor when I attended Liberty University, and knowing how he inspired me, and knowing why he wanted to do these things really gave me a depth that few people could understand.
CSpot: Likewise, with Dave and also with you as former competitive athlete on a very high level, I too share the same experiences with powerlifting competition and as a strongman competitor years ago…we really push the envelope on how far we can push our bodies, whether it be cycling or running, or trying to move something heavy that shouldn’t be moved, but we still try to do it. How do you set healthy boundaries as an athlete, one in training, and two in our personal lives, in relationships?
Scotty: I think [the] number one most important thing is “where is your identity?” If your identity is being an athlete, if your identity is being the V.P. of a bank company, if your identity is being a salesman, a travel salesperson for a pharmaceutical company – whatever it is – if your identity is not in Christ and it’s wrapped up in your personal goals or athletic goals, or life goals, it can really be a devastating thing.
Because when your career goes up and down, when your athletic achievement goes up and down, there goes your emotion, as well. Versus when you have your identify in Christ, regardless of what happens in terms of those ups and downs, you’re really emotionally, mentally, [and] spiritually stable. And so I think the number one most critical thing is to have our identity in the right thing – and that is Christ. We have to have our identities in Christ.
And then, the second thing is setting boundaries. And saying, I’m going to schedule a time to go date night. I’m going to schedule a time to do certain things so that my family is a priority. We all know if you don’t schedule and set boundaries, everything else takes precedence. Everything is a priority.
So, I think, one, having our identity in the right place, and then, two, setting boundaries and scheduling things that are important with the family are critical.