by Margarita Mooney Clayton on October 4, 2020

“Hey Siri, call 911!”

“Hello, I was just hit by a car on Nassau Street in Princeton.”

Sprawled on the pavement, bloody and bruised but grateful to still be breathing, I tried to find bodily stillness and peace of mind. The crowd of bystanders grew larger and larger as one after another, a total of five police cars rushed to the scene.

After ambulance ride and five hours on a stretcher in the emergency room having every part of my body was x-rayed, I was released—miraculously—with no broken bones. But the excruciating pain in my right knee continued. A year later, I finally threw the towel in and went under the surgeon’s knife hoping for relief for relief from the complete tear in my meniscus.

As I recovered from knee surgery, I watched Rocky I where the underdog Italian Stallion takes on the world champion boxer Apollo Creed. Rocky never expected to win that fight—he entered the ring with the goal of still standing at the end. Although he took a fierce beating, he got up and punched back hard. Rocky may have lost that fight but his gumption to keep on fighting for 15 rounds made him everyone’s hero.

During my 15-month rocky recovery, it often seemed as if I was getting up just to get knocked down again. But everyday heroism is simply going head to head with our rivals and not giving up, no matter how many times we get knocked down.