Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Yo, Adrian!



Hello Optimists,

Having lived in Philadelphia for a few years now, I have done most of the "typical Philadelphia things". I have visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art many times, strolled through Independence Hall and visited the Liberty Bell, and have eaten more cheesesteaks and soft pretzels than one probably should. Now, there is much, much more to Philadelphia than that, and believe me, I hate it when people think that's all there is to do here. But to anyone living outside of the city, these are most commonly the things the City of Brotherly Love is known for.

I will acknowledge that these things have definitely earned their spots on the "Things to See in Philadelphia" list, namely the Art Museum. But, it's quite interesting to notice that this building has become an icon for more than just the art that is displayed inside. It seems that people are just as anxious to see two particular displays on the outside of the museum as they are to see the Picasso's and the Renoir's hanging on the walls. Of course, I am speaking about the Rocky statue at the base of the stairs and the bronze footprints at the top of the stairs that mark the spot where he triumphantly raised his hands in the air in the movie.

Now, this is my favorite part: After people get their picture taken next to the 10-foot tall statue, they immediately run up the 72 stairs to the top entrance (which are a killer!), turn around to face the city, and recreate the movie scene while they get their picture taken again. You can easily spot the locals with the "Pfff...tourists" look on their faces, and the hundreds of newbies who are fighting for a photo op in the same two-foot area. Either way, it's always fun to visit that spot as each time you gain a new appreciation for the icon that Rocky has become. Now, I will admit that while I am strongly against his use of double negatives while speaking and the saga of stories that makes up the collection (what are there about 10 now?!), I do really love the message behind it that even an underdog or an average person can become something great. Aside from "Yo, Adrian!" I think today's quote from the movie should be just as familiar with everyone. This comes from Rocky IV, and Rocky gives a great piece of advice...

Going one more round when you don't think you can- that's what makes all the difference in your life. 

Though he's speaking in boxing terms, this can be applied to all aspects of our lives- whether we're in the ring or not. Pushing that extra little bit when you think you should give up can make a world of difference in life. It's all about giving it that extra push, giving it 110%, and digging down to find the determination within yourself....doing something that you thought you couldn't even do. That's what life's about. So next time you're in Philly, run up those stairs with the theme song ringing in your ears, and join those other crazy tourists as you throw a few punches in the air. And no matter where you are, remember this quote...I think it can make you do some really great things.

Keep Smiling,
Optimal Optimist

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