From time to time we all see or hear about professional athletes being put into critical situations for their team: being put on the ice for sudden death overtime in hockey, pitching or batting in the the bottom of the ninth in baseball, or playing an elimination game in any sport. When interviewers ask if they are nervous, many of them discuss how they’ve trained for years for this moment – and how they relish the chance to make a difference. Jose Bautista’s series saving homerun in the ALDS a few weeks ago was the perfect example of this – with one swing of the bat, he changed the fortunes of his team. And it was a moment he absolutely savors…
I wish you could have heard my thoughts in that moment. It’s the closest I have ever felt to being a superhero. I felt like I was Batman, and the villain had the girl dangling off the edge of the building. My adrenaline wasn’t 10-out-of-10. It was ten-million-out-of-10.
While sports offer a spotlight for these sorts of heroic actions, there are numerous other careers that make life-saving decisions without the pomp and circumstance that Bautista and many like him enjoy – military personnel, first responders, and those who work in the medical field. Each man or woman who works in these fields and others like them trains to defend, protect, and save lives – looking precisely to those moments where their actions might make a difference.
I think that every kid who has ever tied a cape around their neck and pretended to be a superhero has felt that same hope,wanting to make a difference. Many superheroes embody those qualities many of us aspire to: of courage, of selflessness, and that same desire to make a difference in the lives of other.
I had an experience a couple of weeks ago that reminded me that it’s a lot easier to imagine yourself as the hero than to actually be the hero. [Read more…] about Be the Hero: doing what you can