Who is your HERO?

A couple of weeks ago I had the true honor of spending time with some of the most incredible individuals that impacted me and humbled me in a way that I cannot explain. They have exemplified the true epitome of heroes in my book. Twenty six Global Heroes from 14 different countries represented their medical condition in the Twin Cities Marathon and TC 10 mile race…from pacemakers to coronary artery stents to deep brain stimulation devices to lung navigation systems and insulin pumps, these individuals are truly HEROIC.

We’ve all had people in our lives who have made a positive impact on our lives. Think back to that hero for you. Was it a grandparent, a teacher, a coach, a parent, the guy who shines shoes for a living or that inspiring person that gave you the motivation to keep running? Whoever they are, they have all left an impact on you in some way right?

When you think back to the HERO or HEROES in your life, what qualities do they exhibit?

For me, qualities of my heroes like class, grace, mentorship, compassion, determination, loyalty, drive, strength, commitment, leadership, kindness, and belief in yourself rise to the top.

Heroes in movies might appear as a handsome prince charming coming to save the damsel in distress or the strong, supernatural guy who flies in just in time to defeat evil. However, in my opinion, a hero is a person who looks out for the well-being of others and does whatever it takes to uphold the virtues of bravery, loyalty, and generosity. I saw this exemplified in such an amazing way this when some of the most amazing global heroes were determined to help every teammate cross the finish line…no hero left behind!  My heart is so full and nothing can ever take away that defining moment as that “TEAM” united as one walked through the finish line. No words can describe it.

So I would love to offer three reasons why we all may need a hero or two in our lives:

  1. Heroes pick us up when we’re down — Life inevitably hands us personal setbacks and failings. Failed relationships, failed businesses, a tragic loss, a diagnosis. For the global heroes, a diagnosis that could have set them back, but instead they took it as an opportunity to be an example to the world to show others what is possible. It is during these phases of great personal challenge in our lives that heroes inspire us to overcome whatever adversity we’re facing. Heroes lift us up when we’re personally in danger of falling down — emotionally, physically and spiritually.
  2. Heroes give us hope — I’ll use the example of a marathon. Heroes are beacons of light when it seems impossible to run another mile. Heroes prove to us that no matter how much suffering there is in the world or that we are each facing, there are supremely good people around whom we can count on to offer that smile, that helping hand, that HOPE that you can finish the race and cross the finish line. Heroes remind us not to dwell on our worries, but on hope in order to overcome obstacles. They remind us to replace those thoughts of worry with thoughts of hope, faith and victory.
  3. Heroes reveal our missing qualities — They are that missing link that reveals our missing qualities. They build us up and teach us lessons. The heroes I admire are those who possess qualities I continually strive to possess (such as courage and compassion), are living examples that hope is a light bright enough to dispel the darkness of fear. Heroes are who I look up to that offer an amazing beacon of hope.

So I want to give a big shout out to all the heroes in my life, especially my new amazing friendships with the Global Heroes.  I encourage you today to take a moment to ask the question WHO IS MY HERO? Reach out to them and tell them how much you value and appreciate them. May you have many reasons for admiring your personal heroes, and may they continue to shape who you are.

Remember…You were born to win; you were born for greatness; you were created to be a champion in life. Go out and be a hero today!