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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Kobe Bryant: a legacy of consistent hard work

GRAPHIC: Kaitlyn Patterson ’20

I was half asleep in my bed, refusing to look at the time because I knew it was only a matter of moments before I had to get up. This is always an unpleasant transition period in the morning, something that everyone goes through, but it’s nonetheless painful. Moments later, my alarm blared.

It’s five in the morning. My room is seemingly freezing. It’s not actually that cold but it’s the type of harsh sensation you get in the morning, not wanting to accept that sleep and general comfort has come to an end.

I was about to embark on the “666 Workout” routine. It’s a routine that Kobe Bryant, a father of four daughters, a husband, a five-time NBA champion, a 17-time NBA All-Star, a two-time NBA Finals MVP, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a one-time Oscar winner, coined and consistently executed throughout his career.

This was Kobe’s off-season workout routine. The three sixes signify training six days a week, for six hours a day over the course of six months in a year. This mentality is certainly a part of the unending list that makes up his legacy.

During Kobe’s number retirement ceremony on Dec. 19, 2017, he emphasized this idea of hard work and what it truly means.

Kobe preached a mindset that doesn’t just apply to basketball or basketball players. In other words, by explaining his path to greatness, Kobe’s overarching message was meant to inspire others, making sure that everyone was at least aware of their potential.

This is what I was thinking about in my cold, dark room at five in the morning. I got up, got ready and headed downstairs.

Kobe would always start the day with at least 10 minutes of meditation to get in the proper mindset and prepare for what was to come. I’m not a consistent meditator, but I have dabbled in the art. Prior to the morning, I did further research on meditation to avoid simply sitting in one place, breathing hard.

Armed with what I deemed to be enough understanding of technique, I sat in place for about 15 minutes, cross-legged, using a form of mindful meditation. I don’t think I accomplished what I could have had I been doing this for weeks, months or years prior, but it certainly helped to clear my mind and produce a positive outlook on the day.

After this, it was about six in the morning. I wanted to dip into aspects of Kobe’s life that would allow me to better attack the day. Kobe had a creative mind, with a love for both storytelling and writing. So I wrote. I wrote down goals and what I wanted to accomplish that day.

I then walked over to the gym. I did a combination of workouts that included a warm-up on the treadmill, pistol squats (five reps with six sets), hanging knee raise (six reps with four sets), front squats (four reps with six sets), dumbbell row (six reps with five sets) and dumbbell stiff-legged  deadlift (six reps with six sets). I did two blocks of this, and it’s safe to say it was a painful experience.

Two hours later, I did track work. I started by running five miles on the treadmill. Then I ran high intensity sprints in 100, 200 and 400 yard increments, jogging and walking in between. Again, it was a painful experience.

Towards the end of the day, I did basketball drills. I warmed up with 10 minutes of defensive slides and then got right into it. I started out with mid-range shots, shooting from five different locations. I made 10 shots from each location before moving on to the next. I did the same thing from three and moved on to layups. I shot at least 700 times before leaving the gym.

After that day, mentally, I felt better than I had in awhile. Yes, my body was in pain and I still find it slightly difficult to walk. Sure, I had to manage and sacrifice time because I was in the gym for six hours of the day.

But those small, negative aspects didn’t matter to me. That day, I got back home at about 7 p.m. It gave me time to reflect. I hadn’t touched social media all day. I only went on my phone to respond to texts and calls. I was focused on the day as a whole and accomplishing what I set out to do.

I thought to myself that if I applied this level of work and focus to whatever it is that I want to do in life, nothing is guaranteed, but the process of that journey and the potential of getting there would be exponentially more fulfilling.

Kobe put this exact idea so eloquently. On the night of Jan. 31, the Los Angeles Lakers displayed an emotional video paying tribute to Kobe.

“You have to dance beautifully in the box that you are comfortable dancing in,” Kobe said in the video. “My box was to be extremely ambitious in the sport of basketball. Your box is different than mine. Everybody’s is different. It’s your job to try to perfect it and make it as beautiful of a canvas as you can make it. If you have done that, you have lived a successful life, you have lived with Mamba mentality.”

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