Natural Born Heroes

“There was a time when that question wouldn’t be a mystery. For much of human history, the art of the hero wasn’t left up to chance; it was a multidisciplinary endeavor devoted to optimal nutrition, physical self-mastery, and mental conditioning. The hero’s skills were studied, practiced, and perfected, then passed along from parent to child and teacher to student.

The art of the hero wasn’t about being brave; it was about being so competent that bravery wasn’t an issue. You weren’t supposed to go down for a good cause; the goal was to figure out a way to not go down at all. Achilles and Odysseus and the rest of the classical heroes hated the thought of dying and scratched for every second of life.

A hero’s one crack at immortality was to be remembered as a champion, and champions don’t die dumb… It all hinged on the ability to unleash the tremendous resources of strength, endurance, and agility that many people don’t realize they already have.” – from the excellent book Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall.

Reading Natural Born Heroes and the story of the Isle of Crete resistance is an incredible story of ordinary people that did extraordinary feats. There are several interesting avenues we can take with this book however, for me the most compelling aspect of this story is simply this; resolve to be an adept. In a moment of crisis or urgency be ready to act. Despite whatever odds are stacked against us, or whatever cards life has seemingly dealt us we must resolve to always be ready, and prepared to be useful.

Think about arriving on the scene of a rollover accident in a rural area. We don’t have the luxury of getting a little stronger, or refreshing our knowledge of ditch medicine, nor do we have the opportunity to run to the local pharmacy to pick up expedient medical supplies. Whether we like it or not we have what we have, in all those areas, with us at that moment. Life changes rapidly, and at times unpredictably. Maybe we are the ones involved in the rollover accident in the middle of nowhere. No help is coming, you are your own hero. Only I know the answer to the question; am I ready? Regardless of the answer at the moment, I can choose to begin to improve my odds. Make a pact with yourself to always be ready so you don’t have to get ready.