Originally Posted February, 2011
Ok, so, I’ve been getting a lot of emails about my last blog. (Thank you very much for all of your support and amazing comments!) In particular about Rocky 4. I know that some people will understand this and others won’t but here goes.
When I was a fat little kid on Long Island I spent a few years after school every day on the floor in my den watching the channel 11 version of Rocky 4 that I had on tape. I watched it so many times that it was grainy and hard to make out but it didn’t matter because I knew all of the lines by heart anyway. I was raised on Rocky. It sounds weird but much of my ethical structure is based on Balboa. He was kind, strong, simple, and he had heart. He was a fighter. He was a champion. He was a father and you knew, no matter what, when Rocky Balboa died his last thought would be about Adrian.
I never really outgrew it but I did stop watching every day. I don’t think it is a wonder how I got so deep into physical culture. Going to Siberia to train was a strong twist that brought back many memories of my childhood. It was not intended to line up with Rocky but I am not surprised that it did.
Once we decided to go Jason and I would have conversations like:
“Dude, this is so Rocky 4”
“BOOM!!! CHU...RITZ 45”
That’s it pretty much, add in some “I know man’s” and headshakes and that’s about all there was.
It is not the apex of our lives. There will be more after this trip but I don’t know if there will ever be anything bigger.
A few years ago I had one of those years. We all have them. A year filled with deaths and divorces. A year of breaking down childhoods and leaving lives behind. I was down. I was lost. I felt so weak. It was Christmas and I was at my mothers house, drunk, blathering on about how I just wanted someone to take care of me for a minute so I didn’t have to carry the load all by myself. I think it was my lowest and weakest point as a man. There is no other way to say it, I was a bitch.
The next night we went to see the new Rocky movie.
As we were walking to the car I remember thinking that Rocky would be disappointed in me. Not Stallone, Rocky. As if the actual person Rocky Balboa was going to look at me and shake his head. Weird fucking shit I’ll tell ya.
We all know the speech…”It’s not how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. It’s about how much you can take and keep moving forward”. (No I didn’t need to google that, it’s almost sad).
That was the moment my life turned. I signed up for the RKC shortly after. This journey that I am on now started that day. I decided that I can take whatever I have to and keep moving forward. I am not afraid to tell the truth, even about this. I know is sounds silly to some folks but I know that I am not one to judge what drives you so I don’t worry about being judged myself.
I hike this mountain in Oakland as fast as I can and I raise my arms at the top.
I will be training in Siberia soon.
I didn’t plan it this way but I am not surprised it happened.
I work hard at the things that I love. I will fight for the people I love. I will admit to my failings as I am confronted with them because I am human. I may never be world champion, or the best in the States, or the best in my weight class, or of my friends, but I will fight as hard as I can and I will find out if I have heart. One day, one day,I will die in love with my wife.
I don’t think Rocky would be ashamed of me now.
One last thing,
My training was awful today. Enough to send panic emails all over. I wrote another entry titled "Epic Fail". I didn't post it because by the end I was calmer. I think I am feeling the pressure, but I can take it. I can takes this hit and keep moving forward.