It’s easy to get wrapped up in your own life and personal problems. From cooking quinoa to finding a good school for little John Snow Smith, the internet is full of first world problems. It’s only when we come face to face with someone who has strived so hard to overcome unimaginable difficulties that we take a step back and access our lives. Mark Pollock is one of those people. Ross Whitaker’s documentary tells the remarkable story of an Irishman who’s determination and courage should be a lesson to us all.
At the age of five Mark lost sight in one eye. Unperturbed he became a keen sportsman, but at the age of 22, when he was on the brink of graduating from Trinity University and take up a job in the city, he suddenly lost all sight. This would not the stuffing out of most people, but not Mark. He went on to win a Commonwealth medal and compete in ultra endurance races across deserts, up mountains and to the polar ice caps. He became the first blind person to race to the South Pole. He turned his experiences into a a successful motivational speaking business and met the love of his life, Simone.
Jut four weeks before their wedding tragedy struck again when an accident led to a fall from a second story window. It almost killed him and left him paralysed for life. He was determined not to give up and with the support of Simone he set about trying to get his life back on track, eventually putting all his efforts into fuelling pioneering research into spinal injuries. Unbreakable: The Mark Pollock story is a powerful life-affirming film, but what stays with you longest is Mark’s smile as he faces repeated challenges with an attitude which makes you feel slightly ashamed.
Unbreakable: The Mark Pollock Story is out in cinemas on Friday.