Nothing is real if you don’t believe in who you are

Daddy 1985

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

The little kid in the picture grew up on Rocky Balboa. That’s your daddy in 1985. I wanted to be Rocky when I was kid. Sometimes I still do. .

This weekend I watched Rocky III (my 3rd favorite Rocky movie behind I and II). Perhaps more than any of the other Rocky movies it’s loaded with memorable quotes. Three in particular hit me hard upon this particular viewing:

  • As Rocky and Adrian are talking on the beach Rocky says to Adrian “Nothing is real if you don’t believe in who you are.”
  • He goes on to tell her “I’m afraid, okay!? I’m afraid of losing what I’ve already got!”
  • Apollo tells Rocky in the shadows of the old gym “To get it back, you’ve got to go back to the beginning…Eye of the Tiger, man.”

You’ll find in life that adults are met with hard challenges. Some lose themselves in the shuffle of getting ahead or just staying afloat.  I don’t want that for you kids and I resist it daily in my own life. It’s a struggle.

Rocky was afraid that his life had become a fascade. He’d been propped up by easy competition and shielded from danger by his manager since he won the title. Once he realized that he felt like “nothing was real” and there was tremendous hurt in the realization that they’d all been pretending. Despite the pain he was still afraid to lose the fascade that had been created.

Ordinary people do that too. They lose sight of the gifts that make them special. They pursue what the world expects them to be. Some gain great fame and wealth, but in the end “nothing is real if you don’t believe in who you are.”

Believe in who you are. The 11 year old kid is right. Listen to the little kid in the picture.

Izzy, just yesterday you told me “Lots of people have lots of stuff they don’t need. Sometimes I feel bad, because I have so much.” You’re a special kid, Isabella Hope. Someday I want you to resist the temptations of the world that say you should change for the sake of gain.

I want you to know that I question myself alot too. And that’s okay. If I ever stop asking why I’m doing this or that then I won’t be myself anymore. There have been tremendous highs and lows in my life, but I still have the heart of that kid in the picture back in 1985 and that’s among the things I’m proud of in my life.

I love you,

– Daddy

Quote of the Day:

 Life is a dance toward God. And the dance is not so graceful as we might think. For a while we glide and swing our practiced sway, God crowds our feet, bumps our toes, and scuffs our shoes. He lowers His head, whispers soft and confident, “You will dance to the beat of ‘Amazing Grace’ or you will not dance at all.” So we learn to dance with the One who made us. And it is a taxing dance to learn. – Donald Miller in Through Painted Deserts

Weekend training:

Biked 40 very windy miles on Saturday

Ran 10 miles at 8:24 pace on Sunday