Friday, January 10, 2014

What does a hero look like to a five year old?

I often scour the web for writing prompts that inspire a topic for me to free write about. Usually I am looking for some sort of prompt that will spur a fiction story out of me, but that is not the case today. I aim for the fiction usually because I find it more challenging for me to write.

I write non-fiction every day in my day job, so writing about myself seems just like a bit of overkill sometimes. I hope you all don’t get bored with my rambling, if you do, I’d stop reading now if I were you.

Anyway, on to the prompt: When you were five years old, who was your hero? What do you think of that person today?

When I was 5? I don’t know I think that is a bit young. I remember being told that when I was young I said I wanted to be a park, because, fun all the time, yes! Or you know, the French fry guy at McDonald’s, because, yum!

But when I think back to the posters on my wall of well-known figures, the first I can think of is of Jim Abbott, a Major League Baseball pitcher who was born with one hand. He played on the California Angels from 1989-1992, which would put me at about 7-10 years old.

Jim Abbott Cannons

I was so inspired about how he didn’t let his disability kill his dream, and he was a successful pitcher despite having only one hand. He was an inspiration and so amazing to watch as he pitched the ball with one hand and then quickly put the glove on that hand after the ball left his mound.

My takeaway? Since I was a young girl people who struggle and overcome their adversities to become successful have always fascinated me.

Now I didn’t follow Jim Abbott through the rest of his baseball career, so I can’t comment on what I think of him specifically, but I can say that I am still inspired by people with disabilities.

Each year, in our humble little Kiwanis Club of Los Altos, we put on the Kiwanis Special Games, which is a day that celebrates disabled Santa Clara County students’ abilities. Seeing the smiles on the athletes’ faces as they participate in events specifically tailored to showcase and celebrate their abilities is a magical experience.

The Kiwanis Special Games is one of the events that I volunteer my time toward that I am most proud of.

In the same way, I hope to continue to be inspired by challenges and not see them as roadblocks. I am challenged by the concept of writing fiction. Sure I might be able to start a story, but I have yet to find a way to truly finish one.

I continue to work toward bettering myself as a writer. Writing about things I enjoy in every day life (nails, random beauty products), and challenge my concept of writing by reading lots of different type of fiction stories. Browsing writing prompts and seeking inspiration in all sorts of places.

Having Phenylketonuria, which I’ve written about before, also challenges me. Sure that makes having a baby rather difficult, but I will overcome those challenges and pray that it is a process that I can handle with ease.

At the end of the day we all face challenges, some small, some large, some permanent, some not. It’s how we face those challenges that really define who we are as a person. Sometimes we do it with grace, other times we complain all the way through. Either way, I hope I face my future challenges in a way worthy of respect and admiration, just as I felt about Jim Abbott all those years ago.

Question of the day: Who was your childhood hero? What do you think of them now?

Happiness of the day: The right song coming on the radio at just the right time, especially while driving. Makes everything better. 

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