Life Lesson: We All Need Heroes

I told you last week about my athletic crush on Sally McRae.She has been training like a boss for the Western States Endurance Run 100 for four months. And she’s been doing it like nothing I’ve ever seen.
She opted to take, anyone who cared to go, along for the ride. She posted regularly on social media about her training, what she was doing, even her HR at that moment. Being a runner and an all around fitness junkie I was intrigued and mesmerized.
Western States was held over the weekend and going into it she was ready, well by my perspective and standards. I even picked her to win!!
I was more than a little bit emotionally invested in her winning this race.
Sub 22 hours later she crossed the finish line with her two kids and while that’s an amazing accomplishment the disappointment was clear. This image is telling…It’s a hundred stories and not a single word.

Photo: Colin Cooley
Photo: Colin Cooley

The women’s winner had come in a few hours before and Sally just missed cracking the top 10 and placed 11th.
Eleventh is awesome but it wasn’t the goal. It wasn’t the carrot that’s been dangling ahead on a damn stick all these weeks. And in her heart-breaking end I think I was even more inspired. She is a class act. She thanked her fans, gave love and shout outs to her team members and the winner in true grace.

Isn’t that what the world needs? We want to be inspired. We want to see one of our heroes live up to the hype. We want to have a hero.
We want to see someone worthy of our admiration — worthy not necessarily perfect.
This weekend, Sally McRae by some measures did not live up to the expectation, to the hype, to the hope.
But she did live up to her character, her standards, her faith and her determination.
Isn’t that what heroes are made of?
Dusting oneself off from the battles of life and promising to go again. Isn’t that exactly what we want to see? Need to see?
Disappointment hurts. It pains us psychically and physically. But what hurts more is being numb to the experiences of life not ever dared to be lived.
That’s surrender before the battle.
If disappointment and failure to meet our goals are jagged pills then what are goals never even set, never even dared to enter our minds or leave our lips?
Are those a blood letting of the soul?

We need heroes.
We need to be inspired.

Heroes aren’t just athletes doing gargantuan tasks. I saw a young woman who is visually impaired being led down into Old Mans Cave at Hocking Hills on Sunday. It was quite a descent down with sight. She was doing it with a guide and lot of trust. There she was doing it with calm.

My nieces, Reese and Alex, on a whim decided to join their mom last Saturday for a half marathon. They weren’t trained, they weren’t ready but they were inspiring. These two young girls have Type 1 Diabetes and a barrel full of reasons not to say yes to the race and to themselves. Instead Saturday afternoon they were saying yes to a finisher’s medal.
The human spirit is suggested to be indomitable. It cannot be dominated. I believe it’s true when I watch a family regroup after the loss of the patriarch and while still mourning celebrate family. They pull the reins tighter, cinch the binding ties closer.
We want heroes. We want to be inspired.

IMG_1623

We want to BE heroes.
We want to BE inspiring.
Go get it!

 

Sunshine & Sarcasm,

Lowi & G

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