Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Man I Loved When I was Twelve

So, I was channel surfing last weekend, and came across the movie Rocky IV. Having not seen it for a long time (and by long time I mean since I was a kid and they were released) I had to watch.

Yes, I admit it. At twelve, I was totally in love with Rocky Balboa. Or, well, you know, crushing on him, at least. (Ladies, don’t tell me you weren’t in love with him, too. I know better.)

As I watched the movie as an adult, and as an author, I saw things in this show that I never noticed as a kid. For instance, as a young girl, I couldn’t have told you why I loved Rocky, except that he was good-looking and had rock-hard abs, and he was tough. And even when he was a jerk to the people who loved him, I cheered for him because, well, he was Rocky Balboa.

But the truth (as now recognized) is that the reason the Rocky movies did so well is because Rocky Balboa is a character with which everyone could identify. He was the underdog. The uneducated. The poor boy from the wrong side of town who had the determination of a Pitbull and the heart of a lion. And we loved him because by the end of the story, not only had he grown and progressed exponentially, but he—the consummate David—fought his giant Goliath and won. He won.

It didn’t matter who he fought. Apollo. Mister T. Ivan Drago (that scary Russian guy). Rocky Balboa always worked his tail off, running, training, conditioning, and then he defied the odds and won.

Looking back at my own fascination for the Rocky movies, I had a light bulb moment. I loved them because of what the story was about. It’s about a guy who worked and worked and worked and worked, and never gave up, no matter what happened, and eventually, he succeeded.

And as an adult, I still believe that’s possible.

What about you? Do you believe working hard is the surest path to success?


L.T. Elliot said...

I loved Rocky too. (Still do.) You're right about the underdog & hard worker. I think the thing I always loved about him was that it wasn't just something to win to him.

There is always more behind it--one of the reasons why I think he yells at his loved ones. There's this deep, inner self that just can't be silenced, but it's not a stupid-inner-self. It's a need that can't be cut out and the only way he can get past that is to just do it.

(Not that I encourage yelling at loved ones or anything. ;)

Carolyn V said...

Yes I do. I think you can achieve just about anything if you work hard enough. Go Rocky!

Nichole Giles said...

L.T., I agree. My inner self screams a lot too. So yeah. Great point. Thanks!

Carolyn, three cheers for you and all your hard work. I am in awe of your awesomeness.