Rocky

Yesterday I was feeling pretty low (still am). I really needed something to cheer me up and thankfully my sister Christine’s birthday gift came in the mail. Here is what she got me:

LOVE IT. LOVELOVELOVE IT.

Now, I don’t know if I’ve made myself perfectly clear but I am a Rocky fanatic (as is my sister). Mostly I love I, IV and VI but give me any of them and I will sit down and shut up (seriously). I am watching Rocky I right now as a pick-me-up.

I just LOVE the character “Rocky Balboa” so much. He is so sweet with such a big heart. He doesn’t get much credit for having brains but he is usually the most calm, clear-thinking person in a situation. He’s always ready with a joke. He’s reasonable. When faced with two paths, he always does the right thing in defense of those he loves. He is a hard worker. And all of this is juxtaposed by the fact that he is a boxer; a violent and non-cerebral profession indeed. He doesn’t necessarily win at the end of each movie. But he tries like hell.

What I love best is this character is his worship of Adrienne. Here is this handsome muscle head going out of his way to court this bookish, painfully shy woman. He’s so gentle with her. When they kiss for the first time and slide down the wall, I actually cry every time. Amazing.

What makes this movie AMAZING to me is that Sylvester Stallone wrote it himself. It is a true testament to going out and getting shit for yourself. Here is a quote from Sylvester Stallone:

“Early in my acting career I realized the only way I would ever prove myself was to create my own role in my own script. On my 29th birthday, I had $106 in the bank. My best birthday present was a sudden revelation that I had to write the kind of screenplay that I personally enjoyed seeing. I relished stories of heroism, great love, dignity, and courage, dramas of people rising above their stations, taking life by the throat and not letting go until they succeeded. But I had so many ideas in my head, I couldn’t focus on any one. To cheer myself up, I took the last of my entertainment money and went to see the Ali-Wepner fight on closed circuit TV. Chuck Wepner, a battling, bruising club fighter who had never made the big time, was having his shot. It wasn’t at all regarded as a serious battle. But as the fight progressed, this miracle unfolded. He hung in there. People went absolutely crazy. Wepner was knocked out in the 15th and final round, almost lasting the distance. We had witnessed an incredible triumph of the human spirit and we loved it.
That night, Rocky Balboa was born. People looked on him as the all-American tragedy, a man without much mentality and few social graces. But he has deep emotion and spirituality and good patriotism. And he has a good nature, although nature has not been particularly good to him. I have always seen him as a 20th Century gladiator in a pair of sneakers. Like so many of us, he is out of sync with the times. To all this, I injected doses of my own personal life, of my frustration at not getting anywhere.”

Anyway, I just think these movies are a great thought on making your own luck, through and through. Just so inspirational.

Here’s a great quote from Rocky that perfectly encapsulates what we’re trying to do out here:

“Who am I kiddin’? I ain’t even in the guy’s league…It don’t matter, ’cause I was nobody before…I was nobody. That don’t matter either, ya know…It really don’t matter if I lose this fight. It really don’t matter if this guy opens my head, either. ‘Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody’s ever gone the distance with Creed. And if I can go that distance, ya see, and that bell rings, ya know, and I’m still standin’, I’m gonna know for the first time in my life, ya see, that I weren’t just another bum from the neighborhood.”

And here is a quilt I made a few years ago of my faaaaaavorite Rocky movie:

We were really into yard sales at the time. We were always looking for VHS tapes, especially all of the Rocky movies. We were pretty broke so it was fun to search for them, fun to find them and then fun to watch them later, all
for about a quarter. We gotta get back into that. Anyway, the crown jewel of our findings was a felt poster of Rocky IV. This poster kind of crossed over with my at-the-time obsession with wanting to make a quilt.

Anyway, this movie is just making me feel a bit better. Thank god.

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