inspiring movies about the strength of the human species

The human species is a marvel. There are a few who take on the challenge to see how strong the human species really is when the body, mind, and spirit work together synergistically. They break world records in the process.

The following documentary movies won’t get you down about the state of our world but will rather lift you up!

We don’t need to be mountaineers to be inspired by the messages of vision, goals, teamwork, kindness, love, and tenacity in the documentary 14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible about a Nepali climber and his Nepalese team who set out to climb 14 peaks above 8000 meters (26,246 feet) in just 7 months. Setbacks, difficulties, naysayers do not dissuade Nimsdai Purja and his team, not even the Chinese government. Tears, suspense, joy. This movie leaves us wanting to do something meaningful to better the world through our unique passion and abilities.

A great podcast as a follow-up to the 14 Peaks movie is Rich Roll’s interview with Mike Posner. Good stuff!


This movie had me at the intro music! Game Changers is told by James Wilks, a mixed martial arts fighter and Ultimate Fighting Champion, and follows his mission to dive into the science of nutrition and recovery so he can quickly get back on his feet after a major injury. It also follows several athletes and their quest to break world records, interviews athletes who went beyond what they thought possible with nutrition, and discusses how and why the nutrition helped. I’ve watched it several times and it never gets old… humor, science, inspiration, dedication, and that music leave us wanting to live healthier, more purposeful lives.


Marc-André Leclerc didn’t need to read The Power of Now, he lived it. At an early age, Marc-André found his reason for living and spends his days with purpose and filled with joy in the present moment. True to himself, he climbs for himself, often by himself, but never for kudos from others. The Alpinist is the story of young, world-class climber Marc-André that inspires us to get us thinking about being calm in all situations, doing what brings joy, abandoning our technology, being present in nature, living simply, and connecting with ourselves and others authentically.


Bethany Hamilton was a child winning surfing competitions when a shark took her arm. Through focus, determination, and joy she overcomes incredible odds to not just get back to surfing but to make a major comeback. Bethany reminds us that life is not full of obstacles but challenges that provide opportunities for us to adapt and grow stronger in mind, body, and spirit. Unstoppable shows us the beauty of bravery, taking risks, following our dreams and the strength of motherhood, and the support of family.


In Running For Good, we learn how Fiona Oaks loses her knee cap in childhood. We see pictures of her with a cane and hear from doctors that most people who have had her surgeries are debilitated. How and what drives Fiona to become a world record setting runner participating in the toughest races in the world?

The Wall, Climbing for Gold, chronicles four amazing women who are at the top of their game in the field of sport climbing and heading to the Olympics. Be mesmerized by their dedication, tenacity and strength and discover how climbing made its way into their lives.

Follow up movies to The Wall: Janja Garnbret, Margo Hayes, ReelRock15