Greatness and why society is missing out on the real heros

“Greatness is respected, rejoiced and revered” 30 for 30 quote

The last few days I have been watching a bunch of ESPN 30 for 30 episodes on Netflix. Watching how people revere the athlete who struggles, works hard and then achieves this hero type status around the world. I have no doubt the fact that these athletes have done incredible things throughout their careers and life. I have no doubt they have worked hard for everything they have achieved and deserve it. People cried, they cheered, it was emotional and somehow it made it seem like in order to find this greatness was to achieve peak physical form and defeat these athletic acts. They called it grace under pressure.

However, I found myself feeling quite torn down after watching this series. These were things that thousands of people like myself won’t ever be able to achieve, yet these people are the ones being defined as hero’s or role models. Which in my opinion, can be a very depressing view for anyone trying to survive CHD. For many of us, we will never step foot on a field, we will never attend P.E growing up, we will never win a trophy. Yet when you look at the physical battles we endure….there should be trophies, there should be victory laps and we should be honored and revered for our greatness.Version 2Ever seen someone build themselves back up after a open heart surgery? I think any CHD child or adult who does is the greatest athlete I will ever come across. Talk about grace under pressure. You look at this person who just had their chest opened, their body cooled, their heart cut open and reconstructed; and you think, this can’t possibly be something the body can withstand. Then you watch them in the ICU with tubes in every part of their body, a breathing tube and you watch them work hard at getting those lungs back. Then it happens…the moment where you breath on your own, you finally sit in your chair like a normal human and you realize…now the real work begins.

Think about the next few days as if a ESPN sports announcer were covering the biggest game of the year….

“Folks, this is not looking good for patient number 43. We are one quarter through the game and it looks like team CHD may have already knocked her down for good”

“Patient number 43 is on the bench right now, looking pale and hunched. We don’t know if she will recover, the career could be over.”

“Wait, we are getting an update from the field. Patient 43 is moving, it’s a miracle folks.”

“Patient 43 is up and moving!! Can you believe this?! This might be one of the most iconic moments in sports history!”

“I’m being told that Patient 43 is now walking, doing laps in fact, around the arena. The fans are on their feet with a standing ovation. I think it is safe to say that this moment will be remembered long after we are all gone.”

Now imagine this, when they play the clip of the biggest game of the year later. The details of this “hit” emerge and you find out that Player 43 was told she had a 50/50 chance of living, they had someone cutting into her heart on the field, they had her heart restarted. Then she stood up for the first time. She walked back to the bench. She walked 10 steps, then 20, then 30 and then she make it around the arena (hospital ward, if you haven’t already picked that up). Then she make it back to her normal training routine, back to living life and getting ready for the next game (surgery).

Would that not be the most miraculous thing you have ever heard?!
Would you not think, “This person deserves and award for bravery, for their stamina, for their strength shown in the game?!”

This is why I believe that CHD warriors are the heroes, the most amazing athletes that I know. This is why I believe we deserve our own medals, documentaries done about our incredible stories and should witness thousands of people cheering for us as we step out of that hospital bed. Every child, every teenager, every adult with CHD should feel like a hero and the most bravest of athletes.

When will the rest of the world start to see this greatness?

Keep moving my heart warriors! You may have never played in a game, you may never run a marathon or score a goal but know that you are athletes in your own right and that someday thousands will be cheering for us along the view from the recovery trail. You are inspirational, you are heroes and you will show the world what grace under pressure really looks like.




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