Some weeks this post is exceedingly difficult to write.
Finding a hero to spotlight when our sports stars continue to fall from grace, when our politicians raise our taxes without confronting the issues that plague us, when throwing people from a subway platform has become some type of “sport,” when the world seems to be going to hell, sometimes it is hard to find a hero.
I constantly try to remind myself that heroes live among us in our daily lives. Being a famous sports star or politician doesn’t make someone a hero, it makes them good at sports and better than the other guy at getting votes.
Heroes are our every man. Heroes are our everyday teacher, fireman, police officer, these are the real heroes of our society. Heroes are our neighbors who come to our rescue when the car won’t crank, or the co-worker who makes us laugh after a particularly rough meeting with a client. Heroes are you and me, we are the heroes among us.
This week has been crappy. I haven’t felt great, not sick just no energy. Have not been watching what I eat and no exercise. Work has been a chore because our network has been down all week. I had a major vet bill, had to get a new battery for my car and yesterday’s paycheck reflected the new payroll deductions which made a noticeable dent in my bi-weekly finances.
Last night, one of my heroes showed up and started to bring me out of my funk. Her name is Jen and she has been a friend for almost 20 years.
I first met Jennifer Taylor when she was the new Youth Director at my Church. Jen showed up bright-eyed, with amazing goals for herself and the youth of our Church.
While I had no youth, I was not a youth and my prospects for youth had quickly faded, Jen and I became quick friends.
Through the years, Jen and I kept each other laughing with irreverent humor. When Jen moved away back to her home in Texas, our entire Church was sad to see her go. We had several big changes in the Church that year and her departure was felt deep in our fiber.
Through Facebook, Jen and I stayed in contact.
Jen has always been a beautiful girl, with the most incredible eyes I have ever seen. Like most of us, she fought a battle with her weight most of her life.
Last year, I started to notice Facebook posts from Jen about her new-found love of exercise. She started walking then running and biking. The next thing I knew Jen was training and completing her first 5k.
A year later, Jen has turned into a machine, she is accomplishing goals that she never thought she would and now she is training for her first 1/2 marathon…. how do I know a full marathon isn’t far behind!?!?!
At the beginning of the year, I started a new Facebook page for people to encourage each other through the challenges of 2013. Join Our Group Here
When I created the group, Jen was one of the first members. When I posted about my desires to get into better shape to improve my health Jen was encouraging and offered valuable advice on what has worked for her.
Last night, I got a FB message from Jen, she had noticed my lack of posts about my fitness and diet over the last few days. She encouraged me, she brightened my outlook and as always she showed me love. Isn’t that the sign of a true hero?
For her friendship, her light, her awesome strength and motivation, this week’s Hero of the Week is Jennifer Taylor.