The Top 10 Movie Clips I Use To Motivate Myself

As I write this post, I am sitting on the couch with my inured ankle elevated and icing. It is amazing what a difference a few days can make in a person’s attitude. Prior to the Ragnar Relay last weekend, I was sinking into a motivational lull. It was by far the worst drop in motivation I have experienced all year. I even reached out to my running family asking them what they do when they go through a period where they just don’t want to run and it isn’t much fun for them. I would say 99% of those that responded said to just get out and run; by getting out and running I would, once again, be reminded of what continues to bring me back to this crazy sport. One friend, Kathryn Massa, gave an answer that implied that I just needed to go run, but she also said not to put pressure on myself to hit a certain number of miles, or to run a certain pace. Just run free. Kathryn’s words of advice resonated with me. I have been worrying too much about how many miles I am getting each week and what pace I am running those miles at. I have been too caught up wanting to be on the same level as the other faster runners in our group. Just run free was the advice I needed to start bringing myself back to a healthier mindset about my running. 

The other thing that has helped bring my motivation back is my injured ankle. It is amazing how much we take things for granted until those things are taken from us. During the 10 miles I ran on my bad ankle to complete my night leg at Ragnar, I kept thinking to myself why do I do this? I’m not having fun anymore. However, as soon as I knew that I would not be able to run my third leg of the race and was told that I needed to take 2-3 weeks off, all I wanted to do was go running as soon as I could.

All this resting is giving me plenty of time to think about my fall marathons and to figure out how to keep my motivation moving in the right direction. Since I have extra time on my hands, I’ve been watching a number of the clips that I use to motivate myself before or during a workout. I decided that I would share the top ten clips that I use to motivate myself. These clips should be broken into two categories; clips that come from Rocky movies and clips that come from everything else. I know that Rocky wasn’t exactly a runner but his training montages always include plenty of running. In fact, I think if you break down every Rocky movie and what it contains it would look like the pie chart below.

rocky running meme

10.) Rocky 6 – Rocky’s Speech To His Son

Truer words about life were never spoken. 🙂 — “Life is not about how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. It’s how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

how hard you can hit

9.) Rocky 3 – Training Montage

rocky3 - 2

Because, what guy doesn’t want to be as chiseled as Stallone in the pic above?

8.) Rocky 2 – Training Montage

I love this montage because Micky is right there supporting Rocky and helping to push him past his limits. Everybody needs to have a Micky in their corner. Someone to tell you sage wisdom like “women weaken legs.” 🙂

micky trainer!

7.) Rocky 4 – Hearts On Fire

rocky 4 meme

The meme above says it all. I dare anyone to watch this training montage without being motivated to go work out.

6.) Rocky 1 – Final Fight

I think I watch this video more than any of the other Rocky clips posted above. I love as the clip progresses from round to round and Rocky is getting pummeled by Apollo. In the 14th round when Rocky can hardly get his gloves up, I always imagine being around 24-25 miles into a marathon and just doing whatever I need to hang on and finish the race.

rocky 1 meme

Get up you SOB!

5.) Rudy – Tryouts

Another underdog story. I love the speech the coach gives at the beginning of this clip ending with him taunting the players asking if any of them want to run home to their mamas. The soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith brings the whole thing together.


4.) Warrior – Final Two Rounds

Another clip of a guy pushing through unbearable pain when he should quit. The character has a broken shoulder but he has never lost a fight and quitting is not in his DNA. The drama is only heightened by the fact that the other fighter is his older brother.


3.) Forrest Gump – I just Felt Like Running

No explanation needed. I have been called Forrest Gump more times than I care to admit in my life.

gump marathon

2.) Without Limits – 1972 Olympic Trials 5000 Meter

One word; Pre!

suicide pace

1.) Without Limits – 1972 Olympic 5000 Meter Final

The clip below is the best running scene I have ever seen put to film. If any of you out there have not watched this race, stop everything and click play now!

the gift

Honorable Mention: Pre Telling Bill Bowerman His Philosophy On Racing In Without Limits

What clips do you use to motivate yourself? Are you a Rocky fan? A Pre Fan? Do you like underdog stories like I do? I would love to know what scenes you use to give you an infusion of motivation either before or during a workout.

11 thoughts on “The Top 10 Movie Clips I Use To Motivate Myself

  1. I lost my mojo last year. I just couldn’t enjoy running. It was kind of a chore. So I basically took a year off. I ran two Ragnars and one half marathon all year and that was it. I did a few “maintenance” runs each week, but kept the mileage low. In my case it was an emotional injury that brought my motivation back. When my life seemed to implode around me, running became my sanctuary and I rediscovered why I’d fallen in love with it in the first place. Sometimes it takes a complete shake-up to wake us up and get us back to where we need to be.

  2. “Chariots of Fire”–pretty well the whole movie but my favourite scene is where the English team is training on the beach.

  3. What? No Rocky running up the stairs of the art museum in Philadelphia? My favorite Rocky moment was from the first movie. But it was when he was running through the shipyard, gaining speed, and as I remember it, passing a ship in the background. 🙂

    • I think his running up the stairs is included in the montage from part 2. I definitely wouldn’t miss that Rocky moment.

  4. I like the list. Another scene that inspires me is in “Cinderella Man” where Braddock fights Lasky. Also the soccer game at the end of “Victory” or last 20 minutes of “Rudy” have great goose-bump value.

    • I love the last 20 minutes of Rudy. I’ll have to check out the end of Victory. Thanks for the suggestion!

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