Wednesday, November 18

The Race is Not to the Swift!

I don’t know if you are like me but I relish watching movies over and over. So, in watching the movie Rocky yet again, I learned yet another valuable (click here) lesson from my favourite; Part 2.

Quick recap: Apollo Creed, portrayed by Carl Weathers (who found and fought Rocky - Sylvester Stallone - to prove a point in part 1) insisted on a rematch because of criticisms from fans, and the fact that he won on a split decision (when 2 of 3 judges rule in favour of one fighter while the third judge rules in favour of the other) – something that had never happened to the world champion before. And so the rematch began, with Rocky giving as much as he got. It quickly became apparent to Apollo that Rocky was not goingto 'go down' and that this fight may not go as he expected. Finally in round 15, after fighting hard and dirty,  the force of the last punch that Rocky gave Apollo also propelled him onto the floor of ring even as Apollo went down. And so both began to struggle to stand as the referee began to count…Apollo made a very good head start only to crumble at last moment while Rocky rose unsteadily to his feet and across the ring.

This time around, this is not about Rocky and Apollo. But about us and how we handle our apollos. We are quietly minding our business, but then the challenges (or challengers like Apollo) show up to disrupt our world. Just ask Job in the bible. We grapple daily with so many things we can’t even talk about; at home, at work, things we want but can’t have, things we believe we deserve but are denied us, discontent that we can’t articulate, failing businesses. How about being heartbroken because the world seem to be falling apart? The list goes on and on. And being so pummeled all we really want to do is curl up in defeat and die. But we are meant to hold on because ‘there is light at the end of the tunnel!’ The determination of a Rocky can help us push up and out of any ‘Apollotic’ Pit which we may have found ourselves. Rocky is described (by one of the commentators at the fight) as a ‘man of limited mental capacity’ Compared to Apollo (actually there is no basis for comparison) he was nothing but he got the upper hand! That right there is the point that needed to be made: that ‘the race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong.’

Another lesson for me is that no matter how much people hurt us we should take it in our stride, forgive, walk away, be the bigger person (that is painful to say because it is not easy to do). Rocky actually thanked Apollo for fighting him. If he hadn't sought Rocky out, the latter would have remained a nobody, an unknown.

Life is hard. It is a fact. But the picture of Rocky and Apollo falling is etched in my memory; a reminder that no matter how long and hard the fight, when we are both down and before the count of 10, I plan to be the one standing. Its a mind thing.

 Be free oh.