The Philadelphia Museum of Art and its steps are iconic but not completely for the art inside the building. The steps are known to Philadelphia visitors as “The Rocky Steps.” Many runners follow in the footsteps of Sylvester Stallone’s underdog character every day. During my recent visit to Philadelphia, I ran from my hotel to the Rocky Steps in order to climb them and take the iconic victory pose. It’s a beautiful run with a long distance view of your destination.
Although the steps are a victory, they are not THE victory. They are really more of a milestone. The steps and the pose are a place to forecast the future. Rocky did not win the title at the top of those steps. However from that higher plain, he was able to see himself victorious for a moment despite his very long odds. It is something we all need at times. The moment of clarity that allows us to see ourselves at our absolute best possible moment. In your daily life it is easy to get swept up in all of the reasons why you can’t achieve something. You’re too lazy, too slow, too dumb, too poor, too ugly… The Rocky Steps can be a place to rise above all of that because it is a place where underdogs can feel hopeful.
Based on what I saw, dozens of people climb those steps every day. They are looking for that same small victory, to forecast their future success. But they don’t need the steps; they need the vision. The steps are just a nice background for the moment. You can get that clarity right now, wherever you are. You don’t need to go to Philadelphia and run the steps to get that vision. It’s somewhere within you now.