Aside from Star Wars, Sylvester Stallone's Rocky series might be the film series that is nearest and dearest to my heart. Part of it is an affinity for Philadelphia, but if I'm keeping it 100, there's something about Rocky Balboa's story—a southpaw who started from the bottom and made history—that resonated much more than other success stories. It's a story to aspire to: staying determined and true to yourself, standing up to adversity, and keeping family on the forefront of your priorities. Plus, the films are triumphant af, and if you ask me in public, I will not admit to tearing up a bit at the end of Rocky II.
One of the more anticipated films of 2015, IMHO, is Creed, which finds Michael B. Jordan playing the son of Rocky's greatest opponent and one of his dearest friends, Apollo Creed. To get psyched, I made it a point to run through the six previous Rocky films, as it'd been a while since I'd properly digested some of them. It's the ultimate arc of a character, running through the highest of highs and their lowest points, all wrapped up in a sweeping love story and a lens focused so precisely on the world of boxing that Stallone was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame back in 2011.
While going through the films, two funny things happened: a) I had Puffy's "Victory" on repeat when it was time to get motivated, and b) I started really picking up on the life lessons I didn't fully recognize back when these films first came out. I was a shorty looking forward to mean dudes getting the piss beat out of them in the ring, but grew into a grown man who sees the issues in providing for family and preparing for life that permeate the entire Rocky series.
That said, here's a look at the life lessons I picked up while re-watching Stallone's magnificent (at times) Rocky series.