I Am a Fighter, But What Is My Creed?
I watched Rocky II with my son and my wife the other day. I’ve seen the movie many times. It never ceases to move me.
For the two of you who haven’t seen it, Rocky is a down-and-out guy from Philadelphia who gets a chance to box against the World Champion, Apollo Creed. In the first movie, he manages to do what no one has ever done, go all fifteen rounds with the champ. Having reached his goal, he decides to retire, satisfied, with his new wife Adrienne.
In the second film, Apollo Creed, furious at having been matched by an unknown fighter, shames Rocky into a rematch. Beset with financial woes and the mockery of his fellow boxers, Rocky finally agrees. But Rocky is in conflict because he knows his wife, who is afraid of the consequences, does not want him to fight anymore.
Rocky dwells in a dangerous halfway-place, unable to quit and unable to commit. At a critical point in the film, Adrienne finally tells Rocky, “Win. Win!” instructing him to commit 100%. Freed of worry, Rocky gives it all and defeats the champ in a stunning fight.
As a writer I always ask myself what it is about a book, movie or song that moves me. In this case, I identify with Rocky so strongly that his victory is my victory. I am longing to commit, and something is holding me back.
The question is, who or what in my life does each person in the film represent? Adrienne is obviously the fear inside of me, and my Adrienne has already given me permission to fight. That leaves the enemy.
Who is my Apollo Creed? Who has shamed me into being myself? Who am I fighting?
This is important, because without knowing the answer to this question, I will never know why I am fighting, or even when I have won. When Rocky shouts, “Adrienne, I did it!” I usually start crying. What is it I am trying to win, and how will I know when I have done it?
What do you think? What is your Creed?