My birth name is Tony, not Anthony. I am a general manager of a Italian Restaurant. My brother’s name is Joseph Michael, and there is pasta at every family gathering.
But, I am not Italian. Actually, I am pretty far from it. There is one Italian man who I would say has been my inspiration my whole life. That man is Rocky Balboa.
As a guy, I grew up with Rocky movies. I wanted to box every time I saw a movie. Sure they went downhill after the first one. but every movie described humility, determination, and pride. Three qualities I try to instill in myself.
No, when I am talking about Rocky, I am not talking about Sylvester Stallone, I am talking about the fictional character from the streets of Philadelphia who came from nothing to get a title shot with the champion of the world, Apollo Creed.
I do not remember a lot about my childhood, but I do remember something my brother ( Award winning Kansas City Star/SI.com writer) told me. He always said that Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed) looked like a fighter should. He looked like a champion. Rocky never did, although he was a hero.Well, he did not look like a champion until Rocky III and IV of course.
Anyway, Rocky was always determined to be great, and he worked hard at it. He ate raw eggs, he hit meat, he chased chickens for God’s sake. I wanted to get chicken’s to chase, but my wife would not let me. So instead, I chase the puppy around the table. It gets challenging at times.
He was humble, yet was a champion. People loved him. He ran through the streets, and people would chase after him. He was a legend.
Now, every time I work out, I think of Rocky. Maybe it is a guy thing, I don’t know. Whenever I go to my boxing class, this is how it goes:
First 5 minutes:
Hitting like Rocky. Jab Jab!!!
Last 55 minutes:
Hitting like a intoxicated girl at a party hitting her boyfriend who is looking at another girl: Slap, Slap!
But I never give up. I make it through every class! I never stray from what I should be eating. I know the main goal. Earlier this year I told my wife that I would lose over 200 pounds, and although she said that was great, deep down she thought I was crazy. Everyone thinks losing 200 pounds is crazy. Heck, it is crazy.
But I am so close now. I am 13 pounds away. I do not believe in plateaus. Maybe it is just my stupidity, but I don’t. I do not believe in giving up. I have done that too many times in my life. I try to tell everyone my story. I even made a Myspace page, something I would never think I would do (myspace.com/theantijared).
See, Rocky’s goal was to be the champion. My goal is to get and keep my weight off. I am proud of myself, but the journey has not ended yet. It is just the beginning.
I have the eye of the tiger. It is a hazel eye!