When life gets ‘Rocky’—hit the steps for motivation


Photo Gail O'Conner

Hi’s Eye staff runs up the Rocky steps.

*Cue Rocky theme song* “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward”- Rocky Balboa.

In the epic 1976 film, Rocky, Philadelphia-born-and-raised boxer Rocky Balboa sets out to defy all odds and become the next world heavyweight champion. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you’ve definitely heard the “duh-duh-duh”s of the theme song and watched the boxer run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Whether you’re competing to be the next best boxer or just trying to get through the school week, motivation is something we all need and try to discover in different ways. When in Philly, the best place to find inspiration is at the Rocky steps.

Among the students, elderly couples and tourists, we discovered multiple sources for motivation.

It just so happens that the first people we met were Rocky wannabees. “Well, we’re actually both professional fighters,” said Casey. “We fight in the [Ultimate Fighting Championship], that’s what we’re doing here, so you actually picked the right guys. We’ve watched all the Rocky movies like three or four times, so we had to come do these steps and see what it’s like to be on top of them.”

The Rocky steps aren’t just reserved for aspiring boxers—some are there because they live just around the corner. Sue and Steve are a married couple who marvel at the idea that so many people come to see what’s right in their backyard. What is motivation to them?

Whatever inspires you,” said Steve. “Whatever you like to do, some good things to help people out. It depends on your values.”

For other people, their motivation is those that they care about. Sometimes it’s not just about getting up the Rocky steps, it’s about who you’re getting up the Rocky steps for.

When we asked another visitor the same question, he responded: “Family. Always family.”

Or, in some cases, cheering on others as they run up the steps is motivation enough. For Wendy, watching her husband is inspiring. “This is his dream to come here,” she explained.

And what’s our motivation, you may ask?

We climb to the top to bring you quality news.