Who can ever forget Rocky Balboa calling out Adrian’s name in the middle of the ring after going the distance with the boxing champion of the world, Apollo Creed? I never did. Rocky is the energy, Adrian is the strength. Let’s have a closer look at Adrian for this week’s Women Who Wow Wednesday.
Adrian is ordinary. Plain. Almost non-existent. Her hair greasy. She dresses like an old woman who’s never been alone with a man. Insecure. Yet, Rocky sees beyond the funky glasses into her heart. She has a good heart.
She works in a pet shop. Not the most exotic of jobs, but she manages to pay the bills. Her deep love for animals is a testament to her warm nature. When she closes shop, Rocky visits her bringing a new joke, “The last turtle food I got here had more moths in it than flies.” Not funny as it is sweet. She let’s Rocky be Rocky.
When they go out for the first time, Rocky takes her skating. The rink custodian would not budge on giving them ice time. It is Thanksgiving, after all. Rocky had to convince the custodian Adrian isn’t feeling well and he is performing an act of charity. Sure, ten minutes, ten bucks. As they skate, they know something is there between them. He had gaps, she had gaps. They fill gaps.
Rocky: “My old man, he was never too smart. He says to me, ‘You weren’t born much of a brain, so start usin’ your body.’”
Adrian: “My mother, she said the opposite thing. ‘You weren’t born much of a body, so you’d better develop your brain.’”
Soon after, Apollo’s people come a callin’ on Rocky to give the unknown contender a title shot at the Heavyweight Boxing Championship of the World. All because his ring name is the Italian Stallion and would sound incredible on the billing. What Apollo doesn’t know is Rocky is not the type to give up. He will keep coming after the champion until the end.
At the same time, a transformation begins to take hold of Adrian. Gone are the glasses, greasy hair, and frumpy attire. In their place, a beautiful complexion, a wonderful cut, and stylish, comfortable clothing. Adrian also fights back against her controlling brother Paulie who kept her down for so long so she could take care of him.
When the night of the big fight arrives, Adrian stays close to Rocky providing support. There’s no other place she’d rather be than by her man. Rocky knows this, using her as his strength to get through round after round of butchering. And when he does make it to the fifteenth and final round, when everyone tells him to stay down from a knockout, Adrian shows up at the auditorium door with her little red barrette. She couldn’t stand being away from him, even though he asked her to wait for him in the dressing room until it is over. She closes her eyes and accepts Rocky’s fate. Does Rocky see her? Is it her? We don’t know. His eyes are sealed shut. Apollo made sure of that.
The crowd chants, “Rocky! Rocky!
He gets up, tosses a few more punches, and the fight’s over. The auditorium goes crazy. Reporters break into the scene. Police try to keep everyone back. Paulie complains the cop’s damaging his suit.
In all of this Rocky cries out, “Adrian! Adrian!”
She makes her way through the crowd, “Rocky! Rocky!”
Reporters stick microphones into Rocky’s face, “Will there be a rematch, Rock? Will there be a rematch?”
“I don’t know.” He barks. “Adrian! Adrian!”
She finally makes it into the ring.
“I love you!”
“I love you!”
Fade to black.
As the series progresses, Adrian becomes Rocky’s conscious. His strength. His reason. She comes into her own. Her self-confidence blooms. When Rocky’s not sure, she is sure. She has no doubt. Through it all, there’s no other place she’d rather be than by her man. Filling gaps.
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What do you think of Adrian? Do you have a favorite Rocky movie?