It’s encouraging to see Champions working to overcoming adversity whether we realize it or not. In the face of opposition, they continue forward despite the challenges and find success. Sometimes they have to sacrifice their own happiness or their own personal victory but it’s for the greater good. That’s part of being a Champion.
Hollywood is basically based on this premise.
Iron Man sacrifices his life to stop Thanos in Endgame (or Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 or Quiksilver in Age of Ultron). Steve Trevor gets blown up in an airplane to stop a war in Wonder Woman (Captain America and Batman do something similar in their respective films). Andy Sachs walks away from an abusive boss in The Devil Wears Prada (as does Andy Anderson in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days). Hercules becomes a muscle-bound hero in Hercules and is willing to give up his strength to save the woman he loves. These are Champions. They might not have been perfect at first, but they grew and once they reach their peak, they don’t fall.
Then there are the Heroes. Heroes are like Champions, except for one difference. They have a flaw. Not a flaw like they love someone more than anything else. Not a flaw like they are pretentiously enthusiastic about their own self-righteousness. Their flaws are standard ones. They want to love. They want to be rich. They want to have power. Heroes lose in the face of temptation. Or, when it seems they did all the right things, the world just doesn’t get better. Wonder Woman, for all she does, still has to face the world as Diana Prince. Superman is Clark Kent. They might not be malicious desires, they only want what’s best for the world but that also limits them. They recognize that “flaw”.
Both Champions and Heroes are valued by the world. The Champions, because they give us something to aspire to. Overcoming struggles and becoming a shining light of inspiration. The Heroes, because watching their challenge is like enjoying a fictional reality show without the sadistic nature of most reality shows.
And then there are the people who inspire us. Completely different, these are real people. They aren’t Heroes or Champions. They may be celebrities, they may be Olympians, they may be the people down the street. The point is, they are the people that we KNOW, that we see, that do amazing things because they are motivated to do so. They are driven. They have the desire to challenge themselves (on their own) and grow.
Someone I know recently did their first race. The registration is inspiring. The energy and enthusiasm is inspiring. I think, like every other person who laces up a pair of runners, the vitality and determination is inspiring. I was inspired by her.
It does not take someone to be a superhero, no matter how much I love Marvel movies and Yondu. It does not take someone being a protector, no matter how much I adore Wonder Woman. It does not take the extreme and be something pushing a person to their absolute limits to make that world of difference. All it takes is that first step, that first challenge, to be an inspiration.
The person I know who did their first race was inspirational to me. I hope one day I get a chance to run with her.
Who inspires you? Why? It can be Elsa from Frozen learning to accept herself or it can be the Scarlet Witch developing her powers. It can be Bruce Banner accepting the side of himself that is The Hulk or it can be Bucky Barnes realizing his strength.
If you can’t let them know, let yourself know. Find a way to build from them. Inspire yourself.