Submitted Date 09/15/2022

When people think of ROCKY they think of it as a sports film about boxing and man's need to emerge as the victorious underdog against insurmountable odds, but it's so much more than that.

It is a saga, yes, but in essence, it's a love story.

A tale about the kind of love every man needs, and the kind of love every man needs to be for the partner in his life.

From the very beginning, Rocky made it a point to visit Adrian at the pet shop every day. He didn't simply do it to tell her corny jokes. He did it because he needed to see her. It was how he started his day before going to work at the gym across the street.

Aside from the corny jokes though, he only truly revealed himself to Adrian.

By the time their paths had crossed, he had already given up any hope of being a professional fighter. His ambition hadn't been to become a champion, but he simply wanted to become a pro to prove that he "wasn't no bum."

She almost fell during their first date at the ice rink, but he caught her.

And then they discovered something about each other that was like two pieces of a puzzle finding their place in the world.

Rocky told Adrian, "My old man said to me, 'You weren't born with much of a brain, so you better start using your body.'"

To which Adrian replied: "My mother, she said the opposite thing. She said, 'You weren't born with much of a body, so you better develop your brain.'"

And then she asked him the question that she asked in variations throughout the series.

"Why do you want to fight?"

When Rocky was granted the opportunity of a lifetime...

...the chance to fight the heavyweight champion of the world for the most coveted title in individual sport...

...he was mocked by Apollo on national television.

It was only to Adrian, who he confessed how much the mockery bothered him.

This is important to note, because we men generally tend to bottle it all up. We seldom reveal our vulnerabilities to anyone for fear of being perceived as weak.

Some of us have even seen the reflection of ridicule in the eye of a lover in our most unguarded moment, and we're never the same again.

When Paulie reminded Rocky that he didn't stand a good chance, it was Adrian who reminded Paulie that:

"Einstein flunked out of school, twice. Beethoven was deaf and Helen Keller was blind. I think Rocky's got a good chance."

If you have not known this before now...

...know that THAT kind of faith from a partner makes you feel like you will conquer the world!

The absence of it...

Fast forward to the night before the fight, and Rocky can't sleep.

He returned home after taking a late night stroll and admitted to Adrian:

"I can't do it. I can't beat him. I ain't even in the guy's league."

She props herself up and asks him: "What are we gonna do?"

(That moment is SO overlooked and undervalued about what it means to be a partner that's in it with you 100%)

Rocky remains silent for a moment before he lies down beside her. That action alone indicates that he feels safe in her presence.

Rocky remains silent for a moment before he answers:

"It really don't matter if I lose this fight. It really don't matter if this guy opens my head. All I want to do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed.

If I can go that distance. If that bell rings and I'm still standing, I will know for the first time in my life, I wasn't just another bum from the neighborhood."

At the end of the fight.

After the final bell.

People crowding the ring.

The reporter is in Rocky's face asking him a myriad of questions about the fight.

Rocky calls out for Adrian.

She walks into the stadium calling out to him.

She makes her way through the multitude of spectators in a frenzy over the epic fight they had just witnessed.

The announcer is reading the judge's score card decisions.

Adrian calls out to Rocky.

Rocky calls out to Adrian.

She continues to approach.

Apollo anxiously awaits the announcement as victor.

Adrian loses her hat.

Rocky calls out to her again.

Adrian arrives at ringside.

Paulie helps her sneak in.

She races into his arms.

Rocky asks, "Where's your hat?"

Adrian declares, "I love you!"

Rocky immediately replies, "I love YOU."

They embrace.

(to be continued)

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