The classic movie Rudy is an inspiring true story based on the life of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger. Born on August 23rd, 1948 he was the third of fourteen children and grew up being labelled a dreamer by his teachers, didn't have a shred of athletic ability, then discovered during college that he had dyslexia. His dream of playing football for the famous Notre Dame Fighting Irish was a long shot to say the least.

He stood 5'6" and weighed 165lbs, he was TINY! Looking at him back in the day I'm sure you wouldn't assume he was a football player or any type of athlete. Looks are deceiving because a football player is exactly what he became but the road to get there wasn't easy. After he conquered his academic battles with dyslexia at Holy Cross College he was finally accepted to the University of Notre Dame on his fourth and last attempt over 2 years, bringing him one step closer to his dream.

At the time Rudy become an official student of this prestigious university the head football coach encouraged walk-on tryouts. This wasn't a common practice but it provided Rudy with a way in. He put it all on the line and earned his spot on the scout team, which helps the varsity team during practice. This got him another step closer to his dream yet he wasn't quite there. To officially go down in history as a player for the Fighting Irish you had to be on the field for at least one official play.

During the last game of the year he was permitted to come up from the practice squad and get dressed for the game. Still, this didn't put him in the history books. rather, the sidelines. When it came down to the last plays, Coach Dan Devine put Rudy in the game as the crowd was chanting Rudy's name! After four years of blood, sweat, tears, and endless hours of studying, his dream was actualized. He became a football player for the Fighting Irish.

Rudy ended up playing three plays in total: a kick-off, an incomplete pass, and the famous sack/tackle on the opposing team's quarter back. The crowd went crazy and to this day he's still the only player in Notre Dame history to be carried off the field. It's crazy to think Rudy's story is true because achieving it truly was against all odds.


Picture everything he had to do to reach his dream. He studied like crazy alongside having dyslexia (at the time there wasn't much support for this), he worked when he wasn't studying to pay for school and accommodation, then he worked out with the top athletes in the country putting his body through consistent pain. Not to mention the lack of belief coming from his family support system and everyone who criticized his vision.

All of this hard work didn't pay off until the last play, the last game, and the last year of his eligibility. Talk about perseverance, endurance, and faith. Most would have thrown in the towel in his position before ever being accepted to Notre Dame. His story goes to show that we often feel like giving up the very moment we're about to reach our goal and become successful; our personal perspective often limits our success.


Whatever the odds are against you when it comes to achieving your goals and dreams you can't fail if you continue to show up and you'll never succeed if you give in. So, get up, get out, and keep your body moving forward!

Side note: I just happen to share the same birthday as Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, maybe this is why I felt ecstatic about this movie far before I ever realized we shared the same date of birth. I've watched it countless times and have it on as background noise here and there when I'm writing or cleaning my place.

I encourage you to watch this film when you have the chance. It will inspire you, invigorate you, and give you momentum to get through whatever challenge you're facing.

"Having dreams is what makes life tolerable". - Rudy (The Movie)

Get Fit, Stay Fit, Enjoy Life!


Stephen C. Langhjelm