Eye of the tiger

I love a lot of things. Too many things some would say. And if you continue to get to know me, you’ll realize the list of things/people I love is pretty endless.

Which is why, while I would love to go into great detail about all the things I love, I figured I narrow this post to just one of my favorite guys in the world. No, not Tom Hiddleston. Not Richard Armitage either.

Its one of the first guys I ever had a crush on.

Rocky Balboa. Yes. He’s just a character in a movie. But he’s real to me.

I’m not even sure when I fell in love with Rocky. To be honest, I don’t even remember seeing Rocky I or II when I was younger. I do, however, fondly recall watching Rocky IV when I was about 10 years old. My dad had it on an old VHS tape and we watched it as a sort of father/daughter bonding experience.  I remember being so caught up in the story that I ran up to my dad and shadow boxed with him. Because, I wanted to be like Rocky. Rocky IV was immediately followed by Rocky V and let me tell you, Rocky V was not as good.

But hey, it was still Rocky. And I loved Rocky.

With all the excitement and bonding in the air, my dad quickly let me know that “Rocky is Rambo.” So he popped Rambo into the VCR. And you know what? Rambo was NO Rocky. No sir. This man was an impostor. Sure he looked like Rocky. But he was NOT Rocky. And my dad was a liar!

I’ve forgiven my dad since then. Really, it wasn’t his fault my 10 year old brain didn’t realize what he really meant—that the same actor played both Rocky and Rambo.

Anyway.

The reasons for loving Rocky are plentiful. From his being an underdog to going the distance. How could you not love the man?

I love him because he has so much heart.

He goes from working as this bad-ass, I’ll break your thumbs– debt collector for loan shark Tony Gazzo to being this sweet guy trying to get this shy, closed-up Adrian to laugh, open up and love him. As weird as it seems, they are pieces of this two-piece puzzle that complete each other. Like Ying & Yang they’re perfection when put together.

This becomes most apparent during the ice skating scene:

Rocky: “My ol’man, he was never too smart. He says to me, ‘You weren’t born with much of a brain, ya know, so uh, ya better start using your body, right?’ So I become a fighter. Ya know what I mean?

Adrian: My mother, she said the opposite thing.

Rocky: What did she say? What did she say the opposite?

Adrian: She said, ‘You weren’t born with much of a body, so ya better develop your brain.’

And that is the goal in life, isn’t it? Not necessarily to find someone that completes you, but someone that understands you, compliments your character and truly sees you for what you are—and loves you all the more for it.

Here are these two characters that are in essence outsiders in their society and within each other they find acceptance and love.

Its a beautiful thing.

“I think we make a real sharp couple of coconuts. I’m dumb and you’re shy, whaddya think, huh?”-Rocky

Sounds like perfection Rock.

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