I love heroes and heroines. Heroes are what makes life tolerable and give us goals and show us… possibilities. It’s why I love sports so much. It’s that transcendent moment when the pitcher, exhausted beyond belief, reaches back to all those years of throwing in the backyard at the target on the barn wall, dreaming of that day in the last game of the World Series when he throws the final strike, goes to that moment in his memory and brings his exhausted body to the brink to throw the last pitch of a no-hitter. It’s that defining moment, when the tight end, goes up on the last play of the game and jumps six inches higher than he ever has before, to grab the ball and step across the end zone to win the game they were two touchdown underdogs in in the last possible second. It’s the race horse, bleeding from his heaving lungs who forces himself one last stride to go ahead of the favorite.
It’s all those things and smaller moments where a lifetime of toiling in obscurity and anonymity for a moment that may never come that the athlete trains for, that when it does and he puts all those efforts into a superhuman effort, that define a person. And define us all as members of the human race. It’s those moments that show us what’s possible.
I love competition. I abhor the mentality that’s given us “participation trophies” and make just showing up somehow credible.
And, that’s why I like American Idol and Britain’s Got Talent and the other like programs so much. Are they cheesy? Yes, sometimes. Are they staged? Yes, sometimes. But, for all those instances, there are times when we get to see the human spirit lifted as high as it can possibly be lifted. And, those are the moments that reign supreme. It shows us the human spirit. And, nothing is more wondrous than a man or woman overcoming tremendous odds and succeeding. It takes the worst kind of person to ignore or boo that.
I spent the entire afternoon watching those moments on TV and feel I’ve invested my time wisely. It feeds my soul. It makes me believe I can do the same in my writing. It makes me proud to be as member of this thing we call the human race.
It shows me we all have possibilities—that we can all be heroic. And, why would anyone settle for anything less?