In honor of the new Rocky movie that will be crapping its way through the theaters in a couple of weeks, I want to take a little time to look at one of the greatest things to come out of all these cinematic adventures. I am talking about, of course, the training montage.
They all basically start the same, Rocky does not feel like fighting again, he is frightened, or tired, and in this movies case, he probably cannot remember where he left his car keys. Whatever the reason, Rock is not going to fight this time around, he is going to sit this one out, he is done…but then, wait for it, the gong sounds, and Rocky does that slow pan up with his eyes, meets the camera with the slow build of a ‘Survivor’ song in the background, and the look of determination on his face says it all, it is on.
Cut to a cold, leaky, shithole of a gym, for some serious training scenes. You got some boxing works, hitting the speed bag, walloping the heavy bag, a little sparing, and some fancy footwork. Then you get to see a shirtless Rocky lifting large amount of steel over his head, usually in a military press. Next he is doing some serious sit-ups and one-armed pushups, and you cannot forget all the running and the various scenes of him raising his arms in triumph for making it to the top of the steps in front of the museum. Top it all off with the “DRAGOOO” yell in Rocky IV and that is some serious training.
After watching all the Rocky movies one Saturday (don’t judge me), I got to thinking, what if my life had training montages, how much better would I be at the things I do? What if on the days that I did not feel like getting up and going to work, the early mornings when I just could not bring myself to get out of my nice warm bed, what if all of a sudden I heard the ‘gong’? Would I snap up out of bed in a flash, Survivor cranking in the background of my life, and train for work? I could see it now, there I am, in a cold, leaky shithole of an office, typing various words, trying to get to 100 words a minute. Then I would move on to designing things, simple circles and squares, coloring them and then changing the colors(I do creative/graphics work). Finally I wrap it all up with a series of stand-up/sit-downs in an office chair and BANG, I am ready to face my day of work.
Or maybe I just don’t feel like going out drinking with everyone on a Saturday night (I do have the Karate Kid DVD box set as well), would the ‘Gong’ go off and “Hearts on Fire” start blaring? Would I hit the cold, leaky, shithole of a bar to train? Ripping back shots, pint racing my “sparing partner”, falling off the bar stool countless times, I would get myself ready for a serious night of drinking with friends.
The training montage needs to make its way into everyday life for various reasons, including the fact that if I could go somewhere with ‘Survivor’ blasting away out of a RUNDMC style boombox, and get away with it, my life would be so much more complete. I am a firm believer that if everyone got at least one training montage in their life, for any reason, the world would just be that much of a better place.