Never Meet Your Heroes

You should never have to meet your heroes, because you already have, and they are all around you. 

"Never meet your heroes.


At the sale this weekend a friend asked me who my 'triathlon hero' is. I said I don't have a hero, but that was a lie. The truth was that I did have one, and credit that man in helping me develop and grow as an athlete. When I was in my 20's I read every blog, article, and book he published. I truly admired the person I thought he was.


Then I spent a week training with him and a team of athletes in the Sawtooth mountains, and my opinion of him changed.


No one could truly have lived up to the character, discipline, and patience I imagined for him. Somehow, when I was busy putting him on a pedestal, I forgot that he was still a human being. 


After that experience, I was rather disenfranchised with not only him, but many public figures who seemed larger than life. Never meet your heroes.


There are two types of heroes: imaginary heroes and real heroes. An imaginary hero is one we make up in our mind- meaning any hero we have not yet met. Real heroes are simply real people, with all the good and bad that comes with being human. 


The problem is not the imaginary hero. Often this person did not ask to be held to your standard. The problem is in thinking a perfect person exists, while ignoring all the amazing people around you. 


A real hero is the mother with a full time job who still finds time to train and compete in local events, and never once complains about 'being busy'. 


A real hero is the pro athlete who had little promise as a youth, but through persistent grit and determination stuck with it until his results were amongst the best in the world.


The truth is that you should never have to meet your heroes, because you already have, and they are all around you. 


- Antonio Gonzalez


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