Group Writing Project: What Movies Inspire You to Run?

Posted by Filed Under: Inspiration & Motivation

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I thought I’d try something fun today and challenge you to join me writing on a subject. If this goes over well, perhaps we’ll do it on a regular basis. The question is: What movie(s) inspire you to run?

Instructions: Write a blog post about a movie (or movies) that never fail to inspire you to run – don’t leave out the “why” part. Once you’re done, let us know by dropping me a comment with a link to your blog post or by sending me an email (mark at completerunning dot com). Linking to this post is optional. I don’t want cynics out there thinking this is a link baiting thing – it’s not. However, linking here will help people find their way around the blogosphere to other group writing project posts. Here’s my post to get you started…

I’m a big, big BIG fan of the first Rocky film. Besides the fact that Balboa and his real-life counterpart are paisano , I’ve always related to the struggle of this underdog boxer who just wants to “go the distance”.

Going the distance. It doesn’t get any closer to running than that. For many non-elites, running is all about going the distance. For us, running is not a race so much as it is a battle of mind over matter. We runners have a lot in common with Rocky Balboa. I mean, watch this clip and just try to tell me it doesn’t make you want to go running.

I dare ya.

Even Bill Conti’s wondrous score wants you to run by inspiring you to FEEL STRONGER and FLY HIGHER!

After Rocky I, there were a string of largely forgettable sequels. That is, until the last (sixth) one – titled “Rocky Balboa”. I’m quite fond of Rocky VI because it shows an aging Balboa who still has things to prove to the world and, more importantly, to himself. Even as an older man he’s still challenging himself to go the distance.

This is nicely illustrated in a pivotal scene where Rocky has an emotional talk with his son. It’s this scene, and how it’s echoed later in the fight scene that spoke to me.

I remember when I watched that scene. It was one of those “aha!” moments. While watching it, I thought about life – my life – and the ups and downs I’ve faced, and realized that running has always been the place where I’ve prepared and gathered myself for the challenges life brings. Winning and losing at running prepares me to handle pretty much anything.

Throughout my life, Rocky has never failed to inspire me to go the distance – to challenge myself to do my best. And now, Rocky VI challenges me to “keep moving forward” and never stop proving that I can do more – no matter how old I get. I can’t watch either of these movies without wanting to get out there and run!

OK. It’s your turn. What movies inspire you to run?

About Mark Iocchelli

Also known as the "Running Blogfather", I'm a 40-something marathoner who has beaten stress fractures and terrible shin splints. Now I'm running double the mileage with no pain - and I'm getting faster. I love to talk about running form and Arthur Lydiard. I also enjoy taking photographs, have a beautiful (and very patient!) wife, and am the proud father of two crazy kids. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about the site.