When Charles and I started The 12th Round, it wasn’t merely a spur of the moment idea; this is actually something that has been brewing for nearly a decade. We’ve both grown up fans of boxing, with the iconic “Rocky” franchise being our usual topic of arguments (he’s adamant Rocky III is the best, while I’m a stubborn supporter of Rocky IV.) Regardless of which one was better, we were certain of one thing: we wanted to embody the heart that Rocky showed in those movies. Digging deep down inside to fight off the foe that everyone said he couldn’t beat, was the premise of them all. It took me watching a completely different boxing movie to discover what it really took for Rocky, and eventually Charles and I, to achieve our goals.
Former Heavyweight Champion James Braddock, more affectionately known as “The Cinderella Man,” taught me quite a bit about myself and the goals that I set out. If you haven’t seen the movie with his moniker’s namesake, I highly encourage you to do so, because it is full of resiliency and the fighting spirit that Charles and I live by. One scene in particular, where Braddock faces Art Lasky, is what I want to focus on most. After a few brutal rounds, the fighters hit their corners. Lasky is seen sitting in the corner, confused as to why the “old man” wasn’t sitting, but standing in the corner. It’s here, where Braddock (and myself) receive the strategy to win: “He’s gonna wonder why this guy is still coming at me. You’re stronger than this guy! Don’t back up! Don’t back off! This guy is going to keep coming at you all night! You gotta beat this son of a bitch from the inside out Jim! The inside out!”
Everything made sense to me when I heard those lines. When you’re trying to reach a goal, and life is beating you down with no hope in sight that it’ll ever let up, you have to keep bringing the fight to IT! Life’s circumstances are what they are, but you could decide to be Lasky and question “why won’t it stop?” or you could be the Cinderella Man and keep putting the pressure on! Life is difficult for everyone, some more than others, but as long as you have two hands and a heart – you have a fighting chance! Don’t let circumstance keep you down, or worse, knock you out. Life is far too precious not to fight back. In order to win your fight, you can’t rely on superficial jabs alone, you have to beat it from the inside out! Tackle your obstacles with purpose! Push through the pain with some drive! Fight through life’s challenges like there’s no tomorrow! Until you hear that bell, keep bringing the fight!