“I’m not Rocky!” That’s what a gym member shouted during our exercise round of American Pride boxing class. He said this as both the coach the rest of us cheered him on to finish strong. “I’m not Rocky,” the phrase repeated in my head. I piped in with, “Rocky lives in all of us! You just gotta keep pushing!” It’s not the first time I’ve said this. I don’t know if I wrote it, spoke it, or both, but I’ve said it before. The gym member replied with, “We may all have a Rocky, but my Rocky is obese.” I wanted so badly to repeat the whole “Rocky probably sucked the first day he tried boxing” speech I’ve been writing about, but I thought, “ya know, I’m gonna just do my pushups over here and not even worry about it.” Sometimes you gotta know when to shut up and push up.
It got me thinking though, is “I’m not Rocky” a valid excuse for not being able to follow through with a coach’s instructions? I don’t think it is, because, and it breaks my heart to type this, Rocky Balboa is a fictional character.
That being said, I do genuinely believe that there is a Rocky Balboa living in each of us. But are we letting that grit and determination he is so known for, shine through? Do people see that Rocky aspect in our personality when we strap on those gloves, or are we just being half-hearted? Rocky didn’t try at first, is that the kind of Rocky you’re stuck being? Or are you the kind that maybe didn’t believe in themselves at first, maybe didn’t try, but with a good team on your side, got pushed to work on being awesome continually, and now won’t quit no matter what? Maybe you're the kind of Rocky that loves this sport so much, that they just don't know when it's time to throw in the towel.
Maybe through the course of your life, you were all of them.
If you don’t like something about yourself, who's to say you can’t change it? You can get in the gym. You can get past your awkward punches and footwork. You can do those pushups! You can be the best version of yourself; you just have to keep trying.
That Rocky "never say die" spirit lives in all of us when we put on those gloves — time to let it shine.