Sylvester Stallone became a famous, wealthy man for being known as one of the world’s greatest boxers as an actor. The character Rocky Balboa always fought his way back to the top after a multitude of negative life circumstances.

When very few people supported Rocky during times of trouble, he always believed in himself and fought back in the game of life. The journey to the championship ring was tougher than the fight itself.

In case you didn’t know, Stallone’s real life was turbulent and defeated before the Rocky sagas.

One of the many famous quotes taken from the Rocky movies is “Life’s not about how hard of a hit you can give. ... It’s about how many you can take, and still keep moving forward.”

Now, let that sink for a moment. There’s not one person reading this article that hasn’t either gone through or is currently going through some difficulty. We all would like to think we prepare ourselves for the worst, but somehow, life comes out of nowhere and sucker punches us.

It could be a life-threatening diagnosis, unexpected unemployment, death of a loved one, or as many of our neighbors experienced — loss of a flooded home.

But really, the question is “what are you going to do about it?” Are you going to just lay there on the canvas while the referee counts you out? Did you give up on yourself because you felt worthless?

Stallone knew he could grab the hearts of his viewers if Rocky was beat to a pulp, and then somehow gathered himself to fight the last round because pride was on the line.

One of the most gruesome scenes from Rocky I was when Rocky told Mickey to cut him. His eye was swollen shut from taking a pounding and could no longer see. Mickey slices his eyelid, and Rocky proceeded to stay in the fight.

Yes, I know these are fictitious movies, but there are so many circumstances that are motivating to dig deep within ourselves and realize we can take punches, too.

Now, join me with a new determined mindset, “Yesterday was the last day that life held me down. You can throw punches and knock me around, but I refuse to get knocked out. I will keep pushing forward and believe in myself, even if others don’t. Every day is training day because eventually I will be standing in the ring putting on the championship belt because I am the heavyweight champion of the world.”

Until next week, keep moving and improving.

David Tepera: davidtepera@yahoo.com.

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