locomotive_poe (locomotive_poe) wrote,

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27 Seconds of Fame

I had the opportunity to meet Daniel Ruettiger on a business trip this past week. For those of you who don't know who this is, Daniel Ruettiger is the "Rudy" of the eponymous 1993 film. Stiil in the dark? Very well, here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108002/. This is probably the most inspirational sports film since Rocky; so shame on you, Cherished Reader, if you do not know it.

"Rudy" Ruettiger, now a gentleman in his 50's, was the guest speaker at a business conference I was attending. He is famous for playing 27 seconds of a college football game in 1975. This man's entire life is based around these 27 seconds of football. College football. 27 seconds.

But that is not the story of Rudy Ruettiger. The story of Rudy is that 1) he wasn't smart enough to get into college, 1A) even if he were, he would never get into Notre Dame, 2) he wasn't big enough to play football, 3) he wasn't fast enough to play football, 4) he wasn't strong enough to play football. So what does he do? He gets into college, attends Notre Dame, and plays football. The contrariness alone is enough to make a gadfly like Your Humble Blogger grin. The story of Rudy is the story of overriding the naysayers. As I write this, I have freshly received my second rejection for a short story. It was a very polite, encouraging rejection, but a rejection nonethless. Writers must get used to rejection, it is part of the game. All writers get stories rejected.

But with multiple rejections grow the brain-worms of Doubt. Doubt erodes the confidence, and soon one puts oneself in a "can't do it" mindset, which is often fatal. Rudy does not doubt. Rudy does not give up. Rudy perseveres. We, Cherished Reader, can do no less.

What defines Rudy is a vaguely-articulated character trait known as "heart" - which, as the song says, you gotta have, miles and miles and miles of it. Heart is what keeps us going when all others tell us to quit. Heart is what makes us stand up again after events conspire to knock us down. Heart is what keeps us fighting regardless of the odds, and makes us save our last breath to spit.

To become a successful horror writer takes heart. And, frequently, entrails.

So thank you, Rudy. You have no idea how far afield your inspiration reaches, nor how strange the fruit of what inspiration may bear.

If you haven't seen the film, do.

Tags: celebrity perseverence heart
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