From the first time I sat in a Richmond movie theater in 1976 and watched Rocky come alive on the screen, I was inspired by the story of this underdog boxer in Philadelphia. He trained in the streets to take on the world champion who didn't take the street fighter seriously in a match everyone assumed would be won by the champion hands-down.
A lesson in perseverence ... Rocky never gave up.
The "Rocky Theme" music playing throughout is equally inspiring, used to emphasize that he overcame physical limitations and eventually conquered the multiple flights of steps in front of the Philadelphia Library.
When I was in Philly for the 2000 Republican National Convention the cabbie drove us past those steps. Geeky, I know ... but it was something I tucked away in my memory (along with seeing the Liberty Bell) ... something that was personally important to me.
Even the story of Sylvester Stallone, the actor who portrayed Rocky, was inspirational. He wrote the movie score for "Rocky" but, being an unknown, was turned down all over Hollywood because he insisted on playing the main character. No one wanted to take a chance on an unknown screen writer and actor.
But he never gave up. He eventually found someone who believed in him and the rest, as they say, is history. He got his movie and he played the title role.
Sylveter Stallone was Rocky.
Never ... give ... up.