In what seems a lifetime ago, I lived in a stone house along the Appian Way. During this brief time in my life I dated a Flying Dutchman. Named this because he was Dutch and an airline pilot. Although I always suspected he was a flight attendant. As after sex he would always attempt to give we warm towels.
One time, after a nice warm towel, and supplying me with a soda, although never giving me the whole can, he asked me who my heroes were. I was dumbfounded. I quietly realized that I didn’t have heroes to follow and use as guideposts though my life. From that night onward in the stone house along the Appian Way, I would always have some sort of hero or role model in my life to strive to be as good as and emulate.
Upon becoming addicted to watching the track and field portion of the 2012 Summer Olympics, I watched a small story about a South African sprint runner struggling to even participate in the men’s 400 metres sprint. Upon Oscar Pistorius competing in the London Summer Olympics as the first double leg amputee, and the controversy died down about his cutting-edge prostheses giving him an unfair advantage over able-bodied runners, I became obsessed with this amazing man’s struggle to overcome obstacles. When I got lazy about going for runs, I used Oscar for motivation. Tired and not wanting to drive to the gym, I would think of Oscar the amazing athlete.
On my birthday, I even turned into a crazy fan girl and asked via Twitter for a birthday wish from Pistorius:
So my other role models are a fictitious British
TV character and a You Tube Vlogger. What’s to ya?
Quickly Pistorius replied via Twitter:
When he replied, I squeed. My running deity, whom I worshiped daily; and motivated me to be a better athlete, wished me a great birthday…. This buzzed lasted me until yesterday morning. When changing at the gym to go for a run I hear my heroes name on the locker room’s TV. “Oscar Pistorius accused of premeditated murder of girlfriend by South Africa prosecutors.”
I stood in my UA undies in stunned silence watching a video of Pistorius holding his head in his hands weeping openly in a courtroom as prosecutors said they would purse a charge of murder against the paralympic superstar.
Thinking back to being asked about heroes by the Flying Dutchman, in that house, on a street in Dallas, TX ironically named after the most important Roman roads of the ancient republic, I realize now how strategically important that turn in my own Appian Way was. To accomplish anything in life you need role models. Sometimes… dare I say, most of the time, your deity will fall.