So, when you are training for the marathon, you need some motivation. The Get On The Bus kids are always a strong motivator, but unfortunately, I can’t carry them along in my running pack. So I go to my default, music. I have jams from every genre that get me through when I feel that I can’t take it anymore. At any given time, you can see me singing along to everything from Lady A’s “I Run To You” to Tupac’s “How Do You Want It?” and everything in between. However, there is one album that I save for when I hit my wall and that is the Rocky soundtrack.
In the 1976 film, we followed the underdog boxer through all his trials and tribulations of training and life to eventually stand for 15 rounds against World Heavy Weight Champion Apollo Creed. Although Rocky didn’t win the match in the end, it was his journey that inspired us all. I remember the famous scene where he runs up the steps at the Philadephia Art Museum with “Gonna Fly Now” playing in the background. If that doesn’t make you want to go out and change the world, I don’t know what will.
So, now you are all wondering, what does this have to do with my training? Well, Slyvester Stallone seems to appear when I need him most…when I am training for a marathon. My first Sly Stallone sighting happened last summer when I was finishing a long run on a Sunday morning. The Santa Monica Pier, my finish line, was in sight and out of the corner of my eye, he appeared. He was dressed in a gray sweat suit and he was running toward me. It was now 30 years after he filmed Rocky and his morning run had now turned into a trot. I was incredibly exhausted, but after passing him in the other direction, I had to turn around. Why some may ask? Well, if you had a chance to say that you were able to leave Sly in the dust while running, would you? Yeah, that’s what I thought. So, I turned around cued my Zune to “Eye of the Tiger” and took off. As soon as he ate my dust and it wasn’t obvious, I pulled off the path in an inconspicious manner. I had done it, I beat Rocky!
Well, fast forward to today almost a year and a half later. I was running my 7 miles this morning and again I am on my way back to the Santa Monica Pier and guess who is walking toward me yet again? That’s right Sly Stallone. This time he was dressed in a black workout suit (that looked a lot more stylish than the first time I saw him) and he was walking. This time I decided to make direct eye contact with him and when I did, he smiled and winked at me!!! For the rest of my run, I was so excited I picked up my pace and came in right under 10 minutes for each mile. So, it’s official Rocky is on my team, are you?