Whether you are a movie fan or not, most everyone is familiar with the Rocky series. Sylvester Stallone stars as Rocky Balboa, an amazing fighter who overcomes amazing obstacles to become a champion. It became a very popular series, including Rocky, then Rocky II through Rocky V, then Rocky Balboa and finally, Creed.
A few weeks ago, on a hot Sunday afternoon, I decided to go for a walk in my neighborhood. It was just an ordinary day, or so I thought, but it became a day that I will long remember, for it was the day I met Rocky.
No, no, no. Not Sylvester Stallone, but, none the less, an unforgettable encounter. Allow me to explain.
If you’re a walker or a runner, it’s usually a good idea to be alert and aware of your surroundings. Occasionally, there are dogs that may not be leashed, or may not take heed to the invisible fence.
Walking along, minding my own business, I looked and saw a very, small white dog running loose in the yard just ahead.
I am a huge dog lover, and judging from the size of this one, I was fairly certain that he did not pose any imminent danger. As I approached the yard, he came bounding toward me. His owner, a very nice lady, followed close behind.
As I reached down to pet him, his owner said, “This is Rocky.”
Well, you can name a dog anything you want, but appearance-wise, he did not appear to be very ferocious, much less, a fighter. In fact, he was very friendly and came to me, as if he had known me all his life.
The next statement his owner made was something that I will never forget.
For no apparent reason she said, “You know why I named him Rocky?”
I said, “No, why?”
She said, “Do you remember what Rocky said?” He said, “It’s not about how hard you get hit in life, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” She said, “I named him Rocky to remind me of this. Not enough people realize this today.”
I didn’t see all the Rocky movies, so when I got back to the house, I had to check to see exactly what Rocky had said. From Rocky Balboa, in a very moving scene between Rocky and his son he tells his son:
“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 you 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!”
As the conversation ended and I continued my walk, I realized that God had smiled on me that day, and sent a random lady and a small, white dog named Rocky to give me an unforgettable message. Although, she didn’t quote any Bible verses, I got the message. Thank you, Lord. Right place. Right time.
Life happens and it can be very difficult. The hits can be very painful, but no matter how difficult it seems, take the hits and keep moving forward, one day at a time.
That’s how winning is done!