A Health Interpretation of Rocky Balboa II

A Health Interpretation of Rocky Balboa II

Yes I know, this series is one of the most milked franchises in history. However you feel about the Rocky Balboa films, Rocky Balboa II in particular highlights the impact of one’s social environment on their ability to achieve a goal.


In the building moments up to the climax, Rocky’s wife Adrian is unsupportive of her husband returning to fight due to health concerns. This causes Rocky to be unfocused in training, which prompts concern from his trainer. After an unfortunate turn of events, Adrian is comatose and Rocky refuses to train. Luckily, Adrian wakes up and provides her blessing for Rocky, in which he proceeds to train again, eventually fighting, and defeating world champion Apollo Creed.


In this following example, it is quite obvious that Adrian has a powerful influence on Rocky’s decision making. If Adrian had never given her approval, the movie probably would’ve ended with Rocky never stepping in the ring to face his nemesis, Apollo Creed. However, being that it is a movie, this doesn’t happen.

In reality, this occurs on a daily basis.

How many times in your life have you stopped yourself doing something because someone who you respect has not given you their approval? The most obvious examples that come to mind are your parents or close friends. Many times, these people want the best for you, and therefore, may not want you to do something they perceive as inherently risky. That’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s likely a good thing.

But what about times when they’ve wanted you to do something, that you know is not good for you? For example, excessive consumption of alcohol (time and place, of course), or ‘food-binges’. In times like this, your social environment can facilitate bad choices, just as much as it can facilitate positive choices.

Knowing this, what can we do if we identify that our social environment could be why we consistently make negative choices?

Just leave.

Simple right?

Except it’s not. Remember that health behaviours are only one aspect of total health. Although some of your friends may encourage the ‘food-binge’ or ‘loose weekend,’ now and again, they could also be the very same people who are there for you when you need them most. They could be the ones who’ll always have their door open for you, are ready to talk about any issues you may have, or tell you off for other unhelpful behaviours.

Remember that just as your friends and family are part of your social environment, so are you as part of theirs. If there are behaviours that are bad for you, then it’s probably bad for them, too. Inherent to this statement is whether you believe you can be the influential force in their environment – to switch the paradigm into how they may be negatively influencing you, to how you could be positively influencing them. Your environment impacts you, and you impact your environment. Never forget that.