In a world where many people are starving for people to look up to or to be heroes, I can say I am blessed to know a few everyday heroes.
Superheroes. As a young boy I loved reading comics. My favorite Superhero was Superman. He could fly and go fast and beat up the bad guys. He was strong, brave, yet as his alter ego Clark Kent he was nerdy, awkward and slightly shy. In recent adaptations he became more extroverted. I related to Superman because I was that awkward kid. A kid who in some ways wished he could save the world, get the girl. He was my favorite fictional superhero for that reason.
Now, in my older years I look for different heroes. On June 7th of this year and over the last 3 years I have seen my friends become everyday superheroes for me. They don’t wear capes nor have secret identities or the ability to leap buildings in a single bound (They do have MAD Dodgeball skills !)
Of course, given the opportunity most will dress up in various costumes because…well, who doesn’t like to dress up right ?
These people range in backgrounds, age, height, weight, race, religion, sexual orientation, social structures, personality and talents but three things they have in common are big hearts, love for the Alberta Children’s Hospital and a love for playing Dodgeball.
On June 7, 2014 I hosted the Teddy for a Toonie Dodegball Tournament. Teddy for A Toonie 2014 was the 3rd annual tournament held to raise money for The Alberta Children’s Hospital. The theme this years was Create your own Superhero
Each year I ask nothing of my friends other than to join a team, pay a fee and come play dodgeball combined with various fun games and skills competitions. Everyone involved has stepped up even further than anyone could expect to support me in this endeavor each year
Here is what these superheroes really do rather than just show up and play? They hold drafts for teams so we can all play against our friends, they create swear jars. (this is for the kids afterall.) Make Bacon and Ice Cream sandwiches, bake cookies, assist in planning, scheduling, take videos and photos and edit them, they use the money they may have spent on costumes as donation, they re donate the money they win in the 50/50 Battle Royale back to Alberta Children’s hospital, the buy Teddy Bears, One friend last year donated one of his photos to be auctioned. The list could go on and on.
The support, the selflessness, the fun, the crazy fund raising ideas, the costumes, the encouragement, the “want” to help and give, the care and closeness many of these people have within their groups and teams is like family but they also have an innate ability to welcome others ( even if it means you may get hit hard by a dodgeball.) It is common to see a lot of hugs and laughs being shared throughout the day. Egos, in most cases get put aside and my friends focus on the fun part of the tournament rather than the winning. That is what makes this tournament unique.
All these things mentioned are why these people are heroes to me. I look up to them because they care and want to make a difference, they care enough to want to do this and support this little mini guy even if some things don’t always go as planned for.
I am blessed to know each person who has played each year and yes I am closer to some than others, some I consider an extended family. My Dodgeball family and what they do for The Alberta Children’s hospital and for the support they give me makes them superheroes to those around them, especially me.
Everyday we encounter Superheroes in our world, most are not recognized or noticed and most likely would pass the credit to someone else. Today I recognize my superheroes, my Dodgeball friends and family. Thank you, I love you.
Who are your superheroes?