The Fighter wasn't on my list of movies to see. I'm not a fan of boxing, and underdog sports movies are notorious for their cheese. But the real life story intrigued me, and I've always thought Christian Bale to be a tremendous actor. I am so glad that I saw this film; to say that it's inspiring and well-acted is an understatement, and I already have plans to see it again before it leaves theaters. In the meantime, I am bringing the lessons that I learned from the movie in with me when I hit the gym, yoga mat, and climb a wall. (I'm also dusting off my jump rope!)
- Never say never — In a champion's vocabulary, the word "never" isn't spoken very often. Despite the numerous adversities Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) faced, both personal and professional, he didn't give up on his dream of making it back into the ring and walking away a champion. (And he did everything that was required of him to make sure it happened.) Along these same lines, it's never too late to start: whether your dream is to run a marathon or hit the gym three days per week, never isn't an option toward your success.
- Nothing comes without hard work — While having a dream is a good place to start, it means nothing if you're not motivated to do the work. Six-pack abs don't come from dreaming about them, and completing a tri isn't going to happen if you don't get in the water. For Micky, this meant grueling training sessions. It also meant coming face to face with years of family strife, and in some cases turning his back — at least for awhile — on the people he loved most.
- Trust your workout partners, but trust yourself more — I'm a huge fan of trusting your instincts, listening to your body, and knowing your limitations. From the get-go, Micky trusted that his family was making the right decisions for him. One such decision led him into the ring against a contender two times his size; Micky was pulverized. While it wasn't easy for Micky to distance himself from his family, he had to do it in order to move forward with his career. But, he also knew when the right time was to let his family back in — even if it pissed people off. Trust that your workout partners, teachers, and trainers are there to support and push you, but that no one knows what you need more than yourself.
- Know what your capable of — I'm all about dreaming big, but it's also a good thing to be realistic. Start off with small goals and build your way to the top, or like Micky did, fight your way. Micky had to get through a series of small fights and contenders before he even reached a title shot. He was also aware of his strengths and how to use them best, or at least his brother Dickie (Christian Bale) was — Micky's powerful right fist! Be aware of what you're good at and learn how to maximize that strength, but, at the same time, never stop improving on what needs building.
See what other lessons I learned from The Fighter when you read more.