I saw the Rocky movies so many times that my brother and I were able to quote it before the lines even came. One of my most glorious moments on staff was when I gave the end-of-the year talk last year at Chico...kind of a 'farewell address', and I got to use a clip from Rocky III, when Micky says "Get up you Son of a B@**h, cause Micky loves ya". The clip jumped into my mind as a perfect illustration before I even knew what I wanted to talk about... because i've never quite grown out of the child-like imagination of inserting myself into iconic sports/victorious moments that I clung to as a youngster.
I thought about titling this "boyhood fantasies", but I thought that might get a few more reads that I wanted on my first trip back into the ring. It's true though. I bet most guys would admit that they still insert themselves into all kinds of scenarios where they have an opportunity to prove their grit. I do it ALL the time. After "Saving Private Ryan", I couldn't sleep at night because I pictured myself storming the beach, diving over land-mines and rescuing my stranded countrymen.
Most recently though, my imagination has taken me into the Octagon. After watching a few Ultimate Fighting bouts, I can't get the image of me ground-impounding somebody out of my head...then i'd give a really humble, God-glorifying interview afterward. I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but I actually came home after the Penn-GSP fight and drew up the custom fight-shorts I would wear if I were to break onto the scene. I'm serious, they'd be pretty legit too (Navy blue shorts with all of the teams i've wrestled for written in white). I'd basically beat folks down inside the ring, then be a stylish fight-fashion designer outside of it.
When I go for a run, i'm a navy seal who has to be keenly aware of the enemies trying to leap out of the trees to get me, and when I swim i'm ready to take on any creature that tries to get me from beneath. Whether i'm doing push-ups in the living room or working out on the elliptical machine at the gym (next to old professors and sorority girls) i'm looking for an opportunity to come through in the clutch. Though it seems a little weird to let you all in on this "reality" of mine, I hope it's true of most guys. It's good for us, men, and I encourage you to indulge your imagination like the days of your youth. You ARE Maverick, fighting the Russians, and Daniel Carusso, taking on Johny and the other Cobra Kai. Take down the over-sized Drago, and shoot the game-winning jumper like Jordan. As I sign off, take a look at the picture of me wrapped in the flag. Other than my skin tone of my face being 9 shades lighter than the rest of my body, it's pretty dang believable.