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The making of a superhero



My girls just watched Big Hero 6 for the 40-bajillionth time. In the movie there is a part where the character, Fred (my fav) - a science fiction mega-fan - proclaims ecstatically "this is our origin story!!" 


I love that part. I love it because it is a bunch of normal people who want to help others and they dare to see themselves (albeit some of them with no small amount of hesitation) as superheroes. And because it's nerdy and I can relate. But the origin story matters! What drives a person to do a thing can determine whether or not they succeed. Some call this "the Why." Why did Spider Man become a superhero? Because his Uncle was tragically killed by a criminal. Because he was tired of being bullied. Because he was bitten by a super spider and that bite allowed him to walk up walls. But do you think Peter Parker saw himself as a hero the day before he became Spider Man?


Do you dare to see yourself as a superhero? I suspect that you do not. I think very few people wake up each morning and say victoriously, "I'm going to save some people today!" Maybe doctors. Perhaps even a few police officers. But what about Accountants? What about the Landscaper? What about the stay at home mom? It's true we normal folk weren't fortunate (?) enough to be bitten by a super spider. And we don't have the unlimited resources of Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne, let alone the cognitive capacity to create their superhero gadgets. But I believe that we all have greatness inside us. I believe that each person can choose to be super. Because benevolence is a super power. That's what all those Marvel and DC Superheroes have in common. And that is a thing "ordinary" people have too. And it is precisely the thing to save the world.


I have long been stressed about being healthy. I have a genetic predisposition to hypothyroidism. I understood that as an adult your metabolism changes and without careful consideration of diet I may find myself "inexplicably" obese. I looked around at my family and saw my mother's and aunts' struggles with weight. Fad dieting, surgeries, and complete surrender. But never once did I witness EXERCISE. How strange, I thought. As I got older I felt I knew the secret. I would eat less. Far less. And work out more. Now, I would never say that I had an eating disorder. But I did have very wrong ideas about what it meant to be healthy. And one day those misguided ideas had me on my hands and knees in a locker room one evening, shaking, because I had nearly passed out while on the stair climber after not having eaten all day. I had frequently had hypoglycemic spells but nothing like this before. It was time to get wise.


I desperately want to help people find their wisdom about holistic health too. To bring about a positive change in the lives of others wherein they feel balanced. Balanced nutrition, balanced activity, balanced relationships with self and others. Not completely over on the one side where they workout hours per day and never eat chips (I LOVE chips). Balanced like one of those acrobats on the balance board on top of the ball. He shifts his weight this way and that, rarely perfectly in the middle, but a constant repositioning so he doesn't fall off one end or the other. THAT guy is a superhero.


So those are the events that drove me to pursue first my Certification as a Personal Trainer and then to my Certification in Precision Nutrition - with so many stops in between (and since) to explore other curriculums and disciplines. That is my origin story. That is the reason I wake up and say "I'm going to save some people today." Maybe that day those people are just my kids, or a friend I chat with about food prep.  Maybe I don't even know who I'm helping but I just put content out there because I pray it'll make someone feel empowered to be their own hero and make just one healthier choice that day. 


I'd love to hear your origin story - the reason you decided to save yourself. Or maybe you just decided that today - I'd love to hear that too. Because you're not just saving you - by extension you're saving your family, your friends, your co-workers. You are powerful. You can change lives simply by changing yours. Be a superhero.


And if you can make Iron Man-esque gadgets, I want in on that.