“A person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities”
Today I witnessed one of my heroes do something amazing. The term “hero” can be rather loosely banded around, but I witnessed somebody demonstrate all of the qualities I think make a hero: dogged determination, being 100% true to themselves, stoicism and dignity. These are noble qualities. These are qualities that demonstrate courage. These are qualities that have led them to deliver such outstanding achievements. There are only five or six people in my life that I can genuinely say exhibit these qualities, and they are who I regard as heroes- I hope you all know who you are.
Dogged determination: to the point that it drives friend, families and partners crazy. My heroes know what they want and go after it, blinkered and focused on their goal, even- or especially- if it’s a big gamble. If it induces any semblance of fear, they want it and stop at nothing to get it. It’s this that makes my heart burst with pride for them. And I tell them so.
100% true to themselves: my heroes never, ever compromise their values or beliefs to suit others or to take the easy route. They are different, but never tried to be anything but. They never changed themselves to make things easier for others: they swam upstream, they took the tougher route and it has shaped them into the people they are.
Stoicism: “The endurance of pain or hardship without the display of feelings and without complaint”. Perhaps this is a very British trait to select. I don’t mean it in a “stiff upper lip” kind of way. It’s okay that you hate your job/where you live/the current situation you’re in. Everyone complains about that stuff. It’s how you deal with the big stuff. It’s the way that you quietly deal with the shit and still show up every day to be a great partner, friend, sibling or parent. Yes, at times life is downright shit, but it’s how you deal with it that’s the measure of the person you are.
Dignity: finally, and somewhat connected. A quiet, dignified- some might say “classy”, approach to everything. Those who quietly take on board all the crap, work it out and understand how to deal with it in a dignified and classy way, are heroes to me.
So, why I am writing this? Today, one of the people I love more than anything in the world did something heroic. She ran her first marathon for The Bobby Moore Fund- a charity for research into bowel cancer and part of Cancer Research UK. If you want to sponsor her, the link is here.
Vix- you’re not a hero because you ran 26 miles. Although that is difficult, as we saw, and it confirms that you are absolutely mental.
You are a hero because you trained with dogged determination for six days a week through all these months.
You are a hero because, even as you sat with St John’s Ambulance at 22 miles with low blood sugar and blurred vision, you just wanted to finish it.
You are a hero because you were stoic throughout all of it- not just the marathon- all of it.
You are a hero because, even when you’re playing the clown, you have a quiet, classy dignity. Hobbling back through the town today you continued to cheer on those still running, encouraging them that there wasn’t far to go. There’s a reason you always won MVP.
But above all, you’re a hero because you have never- ever- been anything but 100% yourself.
Love you sis. You’re an absolute hero.