The Hero Blog

Hero Blog

By Joel Phillips

HeroHero…quite a magnificent four-letter word isn’t it?  The very mention of the word evokes feelings of inspiration, and who doesn’t like a story about a hero.  Growing up in Cheyenne (Wyoming), one of the many places I would ride my bike was City News, a local mom & pop business that specialized in newspapers, magazines and comic books.  I was always eager to read about the heroics of Superman (my personal favorite Superhero) Batman, the Flash and the rest of the gang.  On my way back home I would stop by the downtown fire station, if they were there the captain would politely listen and respond to me, as I would ask question after question after question about what happened at the last call, it was my chance to talk to a real live hero.

Sports HerosDuring my teen years it seemed my heroes were athletes.  I marveled at their accomplishments because I had a good understanding of the hard work and dedication that goes into being a champion.  I’ve always viewed first responders as heroes along with those who put themselves in harm’s way when asked.  In reality there are heroes all around us, look in the mirror, I’d wager YOU are a hero to someone, you just may not get the same press as Superman.

On Saturday, May 4, I became very present with the reality I live with a hero.  Her name is Tara and she is my wife.

Tara graduated Regis University (Denver, CO) Summa Cum Laude (4.0 GPA) with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.  Right…lot’s of people graduate with a 4.0 every year and there doesn’t seem to be a bunch of hero parades.

Graduation Hero

Maybe not in public, but each and every graduate is a hero in their own right.  I am particularly proud of my wife because her efforts inspired me to be who I am today.  For eight years Tara took a couple of classes each semester, worked full-time, having to change jobs twice, endured the loss of close family members and the pain of a ruptured disc in her lower back.  While I was in the hospital with what turned out to be a gallbladder going septic, she maintained vigil by my side, putting her entire life on hold.  All the while, she never once complained.  Emotion got the better of me as I cried tears of elation when she walked across the stage and received her diploma.  That evening, after her party when we finally got the chance to sit down and reflect on the day and her accomplishment, she turned to me and said, “baby, now I’ll have more time to ride with you”.  I can’t express how much this woman means to me and how fortunate I am she chose me to share her life with.

It’s easy to conquer when you have super powers, but to endure and persevere with all life throws at us is truly heroic.  Look around you and see how many heroes there might be…single parents, recovering addicts, teachers, a loving family maybe even a co-worker.  It’s crazy to me how the media seems to go out of their way to focus on tragedy, when there are soooo many more stories of inspiration.  What about you…who are your heroes?

  • Sarah

    My son. Simple as that. His story is up on my blog today, matter of fact.


  • Julie Starling

    Nice one, Joel.

    • Joel Phillips

      Thank you Julie, happy riding!