March 26 • 06:24 AM

'Rocky' theme song's on the loop

January 21, 2009
Can you hear the Rocky theme song in the background? See the silhouette of the former washed-up, wrung-out has-been, arms raised, fists clenched in victory—jumping up and down in a moment of joyous accomplishment?

This is running through my head almost every minute, except I'm the silhouetted figure. If all goes well, by the time you read this I will have been free from yet another bout with my nicotine addiction for eight days, five hours and one minute. As I write this, I've been free for two days, 3 hours and 23 minutes.

I write this in the spirit of hope and determination. As an addict I know I'm not supposed to worry about tomorrow, much less next Wednesday. I'm supposed to concentrate on this day. Take it one minute, one hour at a time. And I am. It works...

...Speaking of work- ing, how about that cool-headed US Air pilot Chesley Sullenberger III? What an outstanding individual. This is one story that I don't mind the print and broadcast media latching onto for all it's worth and wringing every single drop out of. This man, his co-pilot and crew deserve every inch of newsprint, yard of videotape and Internet fan mail they're getting. What could have been an extreme tragedy turns into a story of miraculous proportions at a time when it's needed most. While it's wonderful to think the good Lord had a hand in the whole thing—and indeed may have—as the saying goes "the Lord helps those who help themselves."

The informed decision, calculated risk and finely honed skills of the pilot kept a potential tragedy from becoming a reality. The obvious commitment to their profession by the pilot, co-pilot and crew prepared an airbus full of people for an unimaginably frightening situation that could have been extremely chaotic but was tackled with relative calm.

The ferry boat captains, firefighters and police agencies who rushed out to save the passengers responded instantly and coordinated a rapid rescue operation with minimal injuries to anyone.

I am in love with this story. It is miraculous in many ways, perhaps the most in that it shows the capability of the human spirit to prevail even in the most trying of situations.

Speaking of trying situations, only about five minutes have passed since my last report of how long I've gone without a smoke.

I imagine if I was on that airplane I'd have forgotten all about my little urges. Talk about prevailing! If those people can get through that harrowing ordeal surely I can pass the next five minutes without puffing down a cigarette and all the other stuff that comes with it...

...I'm tuning into that Rocky theme song again. This time I'm playing it for Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who I hope is literally or figuratively jumping up and down in a moment of joyous accomplishment at having saved the lives of 155 people—at accomplishing what he's spent much of his life training to do—at the realization that he is the best of the best in his chosen field, doing something he is passionate about and loves. And I love that...

...It gives me hope. Fills me with determination. Two days, 3 hours, 33 minutes...

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