I met the person who changed my life, the person who I have looked up to since I was baby, and the person I have been trying to find a way to meet my entire time I've been on this earth and this is how I did it...
On Wednesday, I was in class looking up info on Creed 2 which comes out in November, like I do everyday. For those of you who don't know, the Rocky franchise means everything to me. It has always been my favorite movie. That's the thing though, to me it isn't just a movie.
I have felt my whole life like I am Rocky Balboa. I have always felt like an underdog just searching for a chance. I watch a little bit of the movies every single day, I listen to my Rocky playlist every single workout, I run the steps here at school every single day, and I even call myself "The Italian Stallion".
To me it isn't just a movie, it is a part of who I am.
When I saw the ad for extras in Creed 2, I applied right away and got a call 20 minutes later to come down to Philadelphia the next day. I didn't hesitate at the chance, and said yes.
You see my whole life I have tried to think of ways to meet Sylvester Stallone, and recently my desire to meet him has increased due to the transformation I have made in my life.
All I wanted to do was shake his hand, look him right in the eyes, and thank him for changing my life forever.
I made sure I told everyone where I was going that I was't coming back until I met Sylvester. I knew he was possibly in the city that day, and wasn't going to leave it until I accomplished the goal I wanted to achieve ever since I could remember.
So on Thursday morning I woke up with the full support of my family, and jumped on a train to the city. Once in the city I made my way down to Penn Station to catch my Amtrak, and than I was in Philadelphia.
First thing I did was run all the way from the train station to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to run the Rocky Steps. I didn't have much time, but knew I needed to make it my first stop on my journey. It is the place I watch everyday to motivate me to workout, and the one that changed my life, and was the place I needed to go to to inspire me to achieve my goal that much more.
As I ran to the top of the steps, I looked out and felt something I never felt before. With a smile on my face, knowing the last time I ran the steps I could not run them as hard as I just did, I knew something special was going to happen today.
I made my way from there to the set, and began to meet a lot of people from the area, and hear what made them come. I can't talk about details of the film of course until it comes out, but the first scene I was asked to do did not put me anywhere close to him. I didn't even know If he was going to be there that day at that point.
But then I was asked to help with a different scene, and all I can say is this...I was there in the room with him.
My idol was right in front of me portraying the role I have idolized for so long.
By the way, catch the film in November, you might catch a glimpse of me...
When the day was all over though, I saw once chance to go accomplish what I set out to do. I saw it, and I took it.
I went right up to him, even though he had people around, and stuck out my hand and said...
"Hello Mr. Stallone, I am Jake Kosack. I wanted to thank you for all you have done for me in my life and being my inspiration ever since I was little."
I couldn't believe it. I was shaking hands with the person who helped changed my life forever, who I never met...until now.
With the most genuine smile he thanked me for the kind words, and told me how much he appreciated it.
I couldn't believe it, the person I looked up to for 21 years was everything I could have ever hoped he could be.
Two "Italian Stallions" shaking hands, with one of them not even knowing how much he changed my life. Changing it even more by simply treating me with respect and appreciation.
From there I left achieving all I wanted to do, I thanked him. I set out for one goal, and I accomplished it. A goal to most that would seem impossible, I managed to accomplish in one day, because I knew I couldn't settle for anything less.
You need to be fearless. If there is ANYTHING you want in life, go get it. If you want it bad enough, nothing can stop you.
I stayed in a hospital lobby that morning until the next train to New York arrived, I left Philly at 5 in the morning, and got back home at 9. I lasted 29 hours with only sleeping for an hour and a half.
Most importantly I had what may be the greatest experience of my whole life.
In the first Rocky film Jergins asks Rocky "Do believe America is the land of opportunity?"
Rocky responds with "Yes". My response? I know that America is the land of opportunity, because I had the opportunity to meet my idol.
In the end, all I have to say is this...
I accomplished my goal, and you can also. You get one chance at this thing called life, so don't miss out on the moments that could change it.
I did what I set out to do, I shook his hand, looked at him right in the eyes, and thanked him for changing my life forever. And here is the point I want to convey...you can do the same thing.
And to you Mr. Stallone, I promise this. I will accomplish something great with my life, so you know you were one of the reasons why I did it.