It is scientifically impossible to hear eye of the Tiger and not think about Rocky Balboa. The Italian Stallion came from nothing. He started out as a leg breaker or debt collector for a local loan shark Anthony Gazzo, but his ambition is in boxing. When he finally gets a chance to step into the ring with the world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, Rocky shows that he has got what it takes. That is how the story of Rocky begins. With his old coach Mickey and faithful Polly in his corner, Balboa goes on to become a legend.
Many of us have grown up with Rocky, watching him fight his way from suburbs of Philadelphia to the world heavyweight championship. He never quits, even when his body is completely broken. Even when Micky dies, he finds the will to carry on and take the fight to Clubber Lang (played by Mr. T) and takes his belt back. When Apollo is killed in the ring by Ivan Drago, Rocky uses his rage as fuel and travels to Russia to beat Soviet champion in front of his home crowd. As we learned in the latest Creed movie, that fight comes back to haunt both him and Adonis, as Drago’s son tries to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Rocky never claims he is the smartest or strongest guy in the room and that is one of the reasons we love him. He is unpretentious and humble, yet he plows on through life with a will of steel. As he goes, he drops bits of wisdom we all can benefit from. Here are some of our favorite ones.
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
“Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!”
“But to beat me, he’s going to have to kill me. And to kill me, he’s gonna have to have the heart to stand in front of me. And to do that, he’s got to be willing to die himself.”
“I am not the richest, smartest or most talented person in the world, but I succeed because I keep going and going and going.”
“But you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody!”
“Time takes everybody out. Time is undefeated”
“One step at a time, one punch at a time, one round at a time.”
“You can’t learn anything when you’re talking. That’s a fact of life.”
“You’re gonna have to go through hell, worse than any nightmare you’ve ever dreamed. But when it’s over, I know you’ll be the one standing. You know what you have to do. Do it.”
“Bring back everything that’s ever hurt you, all the pain you had inside. They don’t know what we’ve been through. You belong here!”
“Cause if you’re willing to go through all the battling you got to go through to get where you want to get, who’s got the right to stop you?”
“Every once in a while a person comes along who defies the odds, who defies logic, and fulfills an incredible dream.”