BELIEF

Jimmy shook his head as he saw the kid walking up to the gym through the deep snow.

‘You didn’t have to come in today, kid. No one else did.’

‘Weather’s not gonna stop me.’ He walked off to get changed.

‘You know Rocky was made up, right?’ Jimmy called after him.

Jimmy had seen them all in his time, he had grown cynical. Boxing wasn’t a noble art anymore. Now it was entertainment. You didn’t earn your shot at glory, you bought it.

But this kid was special. He emerged and started on the speed ball.

Jimmy watched the hands dancing. His rheumy eyes shone.


j-hardy-boxing-gym
Copyright J Hardy Carroll

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

96 responses to “BELIEF”

  1. I think that’s what all teachers live for. Well told, Iain

    Liked by 3 people

  2. We all need a reminder of the glory days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Especially in what appear to be darker times.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Once in a while that Special Someone walks through your door and renews your faith.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Nice!!
    Your characters are always so … REAL 👏🏼

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Viola.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Iain,

    The kid is every teacher’s dream, isn’t he? Nicely done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think so and in this case it seems to be keeping the old timer going. Thanks Rochelle.

      Like

  6. The thing about Rocky I most remember is the amazement as the camera tracks Rocky up the long, long staircase and then pans around him, no tracking rail in evidence. Most of the cinema aficionados I knew were mystified. HOW DID THEY DO THAT? Enter the steadicam.
    That said, I got a double DVD set of Rocky and Raging Bull. All I can say about that is watch Rocky first, because after watching Raging Bull it doesn’t hold up at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree completely, although Rocky is probably more fun – especially the increasingly silly sequels 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah, there’s something romantic in this tale of grit and grime, cynical dreamer and dedicated boy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, despite his old age and world-weariness, he still believes in the dream. Thank you.

      Like

  8. Great take on the prompt, Iain. Cynicism goes down in the fourth round to Talent & Dedication.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, indeed. Thank you 🙂

      Like

  9. A realistic take on both the prompt and the sport. I hate boxing, and this week’s young victim of the sport has done nothing but strengthen my distaste for it. Good one, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can’t say I enjoy it particularly either, especially these days when it resembles a game show rather than a sport. There are some inspirational stories to be found in the more innocent days though.

      Like

  10. It only takes one enthusiastic and committed individual to make the teacher/trainer’s efforts worthwhile! Great story, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I really liked the fact that there was this little boy who dreamed a dream that was not ‘trendy’ and yet he was determined to make his unique dream come true. Lovely story, Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Moon – we should all have a dream.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. It was always entertainment. It just wasn’t always big money entertainment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know if I wholly agree. I think there was a time when it was about the sport rather than the entertainment – but you are right, it is all about big money now.

      Like

  13. Heartwarming. Good one, Lain.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s a simple story and you tell it impeccably. The picture of the coach carries a deal of conviction. The boy’s dream drives him to persistent, sustained effort.
    But a dream that relies absolutely on your ability to hurt and injure others, and that rewards just a tiny handful of its participants, and where you are celebrated for your dominion over others? That’s not a dream I would ever want my children and grandchildren to have.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, perhaps that’s why the old coach has become cynical, and yet he can’t let go of that belief that just once he will find the one who really appreciates and values that ability and nurtures his determination into something positive. I’m not saying I agree with him, but that’s his view.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. This is a sweet story, not in a sappy way, but in a way that shows the determination of the boy, and the appreciation of the instructor. Really well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Alicia.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Well done, Iain! I can’t understand the appeal of boxing. I only like it in movies (go figure).
    All pros are just waiting for *that* special one to walk in…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Dale, I rarely take an interest in Boxing, but it does make for great drama.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I really liked this. A lot of folks got the wrong idea after Rocky. It’s still all about hard work and sacrifice. You expressed this so well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, so glad you liked it. There are definitely merits to the discipline required for boxing, despite the brutality of it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the reblog.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you too. My pleasure! Michael 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  18. I love dancing hands, Iain. And he’s just what the cynical coach needs to bring back the faith and enthusiasm. Well told.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Well done as always, Iain. I like that the “kid” has ambition and is able to impress Jimmy who has probably seen a lot of boxers come and go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly that, thank you Sascha

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Boxing not just about brute force

    Like

  21. Oops! Sticky fingers hit the enter key too fast. (I am the Ali of the typing world. Not).
    What I was trying to say is that boxing is not just a brute sport that involves clobbering your opponent. The preparation that goes into making a good boxer is incredible. Don’t just expect to rock up and beat your opponent. There is skill and technique too. Good story about a dedicated kid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. There is a positive side to a very brutal sport.

      Like

  22. Of course Rocky was real, at least for the kid, or it wouldn’t have inspired him to make something more of his life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a little bit of us who all still believe in the story of Rocky, real or not.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Great positivity in this story with the determination to be the best. Wish the kid had a name.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. His name is Hope. Thanks James.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. A reminder of his hey day perhaps? A kid with a chance at the big time anyway. Nice piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have it exactly. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. This is why it’s often more fun to watch Little League, high school football, or just about any sport being played by kids. They’re in it for the love, not the money.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree 100%. A shame when money comes to ruin that initial love.

      Like

  26. Wow that’s dedication. Making his mentor proud I’d say.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. A great nostalgia story that reminds of an age that seems long-gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Some kids just have the right ability, you did not have to say any more, fine storytelling

    Liked by 1 person

  29. This is all heart and belief. I loved this story, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Jennie

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Iain.

        Liked by 1 person

  30. every trainer dreams of meeting somebody like him. hopefully, he lives up to the expectation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope so, and not another disappointment.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. A sweet story of hope. Thank goodness for the Jimmys of the world. Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Jan 🙂

      Like

  32. Ahhh … this is a feel good story in so many ways. The trainer must feel proud to have such a dedicated boxing student. I guess there’s a hunger they feel. They must in order to put themselves in that kind of situation. My dad was a big boxing fan. I remember watching the fights and thinking, who wants to get hit like that? Great story, Lain.
    Thank you for adding a new word to my vocabulary – rheumy. Enjoy your weekend …
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome, thanks for reading and your kind comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  33. You wouldn’t believe how many cobwebs, dustballs, and mites I had to wade through just to write this comment. Dedication and preserverance will always take you to the next level.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your determination 🙂

      Like

  34. I wonder if dancing hands will get anywhere with rheumy eyes? Good story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think they could go far.

      Like

  35. I think that this is what every coach lives for… to find that talent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely. Thanks Bjorn.

      Like

  36. A star in the making…it seems.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If he sticks on the right path.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Even the arts and sports that have been commercialized still contain their stars.
    Good story reminding us of what raw talent is.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. The young man’s inspiration is at least in part credited to the old man’s mentorship. This story rings of hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Maybe this one kid will be enough to warm that cynical old heart. eh? Well written tale Iain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’ll keep him going for now. Thanks Lynn.

      Liked by 1 person

  40. As a teacher myself, I find myself surrounded more and more by a generation of young people that don’t believe they have to work hard for anything. I don’t think the youtubers and reality T.V stars help as they make everything seem to come too easily. It’s like the young people just wait for something to happen, when we know the reality is, it probably won’t. But then you get those that know the worth of the hard work and relish in it, improving before your very eyes – and succeeding at the end of it. Those are the ones that make the slog worth it! Very well told as always, Iain 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good that the teachers can still be inspired by a few pupils too. Thank you so much.

      Like

  41. Well Iain, I see what you mean about a taking a similar tack, but I think I prefer yours. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very kind to say so, but there’s every chance it will still end the same way as yours did 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  42. It’s hard to make boxing sentimental, but you managed it. A heart-warming little number.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sarah Ann.

      Like

  43. The rheumy eyes – a great touch speaking volumes. Knockout!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Patrick 🙂

      Like

  44. I think the kid in your story could teach Rudy in mine a few things!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Sounds exciting for this guy, to see a reminder of his own youth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, making him feel young again. Thanks Mandi 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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