‘No pain! No pain! No pain!’
These were the words that Rocky's (Sylvester Stallone) coach drilled into him as he prepared to defeat a massive Russian in his (the latter's) home turf in the 4th part of the Rocky movies.
7am yesterday morning I flipped through the channels and landed on Rocky 4 showing…and for the first time since the last 100 times or so that I had seen all the movie parts, I learnt two very good lessons.
Ivan Drago, Russian had come to America to ‘seek' a fight. Apollo, Rocky’s antagonist-turned friend, elected to fight him even though he had passed his prime, boxing-wise. Long story cut horribly short, Apollo died during the course of the fight.
A heartbroken Rocky agreed to a rematch on Christmas day, and in Russia.
And so training began for him in a very hostile environment; the weather was at its worst, the people were unfriendly. While Ivan had sophisticated and state-of-the-art equipment to train with within the confines of a warm sports gym, Rocky was left to improvise in the raging cold. he manufactured all he needed using the things that were readily available to him. He didn’t lament. In fact, he had specifically requested that shack just so that he could concentrate on his goal: winning. He needed to concentrate.
His objective was to defeat his opponent, whose picture he placed on his bathroom mirror….'you aren’t getting away from me’, I can imagine him thinking. And while he was being pounded almost to death during the course of the fight…all he could think was ’no pain’. He had to get past the pain.
What are our challenges? They great and many. How hostile is our environment? Very. What resources are available to us? A lot but we don't see them. Are our eyes on the challenges or on the prize? Depends on each person. Are we thinking about the pain? Obviously yes, reason why we are still in the same spot!
What do we want? Do we want it badly enough to do whatever it takes to get it, within the confines of what is right? After all, do the things that matter come easy? No pain no gain. We have heard it said about mountains: jump over it, go around it, push through it…
What is your 'coach' telling you? Can you hear the chant of ‘no pain’ or its equivalent, cheering you toward the finishing line, urging you on, no matter what batters at you?
Needless to say, Rocky won the fight.
What is your pain?
Be free oh.