It is amazing how a movie can touch your life. I remember watching the powerful film Rocky just after I graduated from the University of Notre Dame, followed by Rocky II a couple of years after that. I remember that overwhelming feeling as I left the theater of just wanting to go run up some stairs somewhere and throw my hands in the air. That feeling that I could do anything. That I could conquer the world.
The funny thing was, I had conquered the world—or at least a small part of it. I already had a Rocky moment in my real life. I had already accomplished more than anyone else ever dreamed I could. Like Rocky Balboa, I had proved all the naysayers wrong. I won. In my own way, on my own path, I won. Me! A stocky, messed-up kid from Joliet, Illinois, whom some people doubted would graduate high school, had gone on to play for the University of Notre Dame football team and to earn myself a top-notch college education.
And I was just getting started.
Watching Rocky, and later the powerful film Hoosiers, made me think about my own story of perseverance. Anyone I told my story to was bowled over. “Your life is like a movie!” they’d tell me. I was an insurance agent at the time. I didn’t know a thing about Hollywood. But after enough people said it, I started to believe it—and I called on my inner Rocky to see if I could go do something about it.
A few long years and countless struggles later, my life’s story became a movie all its own: The 1993 film Rudy.
—From Rudy: My Story. (Used with permission. All rights reserved.)
Author Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger—whose story inspired the film Rudy—says he hopes his new autobiography will “inspire you to take the hits and keep moving forward; to triumph over your own obstacles, and to dream a lot bigger by the time you’re through. ’Cause once that happens, once you find yourself dreaming bigger than ever before and leading the life you truly want to live, that’s when you’ll know that you’ve really dug deep, and brought out the Rudy in you.”
This is a story for football fans, those who need a little inspiration, or people who just love a great story of overcoming.