Open Letters

An Open Letter to Sylvester Stallone

Dear Sylvester,

I want you to know how much the movie Rocky means to me. Not just the movie, but you having written and directed it. I’ve heard the story of how it came to be, how you actually reached such a low point you had to sell your dog order to buy food, but then you were able to buy him back once you changed your situation. The story around how this movie came to be is as important as the story the movie tells.

I do some public speaking out in the world, one of my more recent talks is called, “Through Burnout & Back Again — Design Skills That Saved My Life.” It’s my own story of how my 17-year career as a web & mobile app designer (which I LOVED) hit an unexpected wall of burnout and depression after the loss of my dad in 2012. As an independent mother of two little girls, that was a scary thing to go through, but I had to figure it out. I couldn’t give up. The talk shares how I used my design career skills to re-design my life (just as I would have designed an award-winning product in my glory design days.) I quote the movie Rocky in this talk because the movie — the lines from this movie — were exactly what I needed to fight my way through this really dark time. It was this quote that ignited an amazing new journey and direction for me in life:

“It doesn’t matter if I lose this fight. All I want to do is go the distance.”

That line inspires me every single day. I think of myself as a serial heart-follower, but every now and then I find myself at a crossroads where I get stuck trying to figure out how to get out of my own way. I may be my biggest recurring obstacle in life. It’s examples like you Mr. Stallone that remind me what is possible with focus, persistence and sticking with your guts. You remind me that I am capable of going the distance if I am willing to fight for what I want, and what I believe in.

You’ve given me an amazing gift in the continuous inspiration to allow your heart to lead the way. Thank you so much for that!

With Utmost Respect,


If you've not yet seen the movie CREED, go see it immediately. It holds up well to the spirit of the original Rocky. And I had some teary-eyed moments while watching it.  WATCH THE TRAILER