2002/10/17
 
16:17

Heroes

Note: This is a re-worked version of an earlier blog article. If some of this sounds familiar, feel free to skip ahead. I do have a point to make.

Despite my worries, after running abbreviated summaries of my recent blog article past two good friends it appears that at least some people like the idea of naming my new sport "Stair Trek". Admittedly, both of them were science fiction fans, but they did laugh earnestly. So there you have it. I've invented a new winter sport, and I've given it a decent name.

Nonetheless, I can hardly be too proud of my achievement. I've recently learned that on September 26th, a wheelchair-bound fellow named Jeff Adams climbed the 1,776 stairs of Toronto's CN Tower ("Tallest Free-Standing Structure in the World").

Yesterday I did three runs of "Stair Trek" in my building. I've figured it out: I climbed 765 stairs up and 765 stairs down. That comes out to a total of 1530. Jeff Adams wiped me out, and he did it using his arms. He is yet another fine example of Canada's growing tradition of dynamic people who show us just what the disabled can do. In the spirit of our hero Terry Fox, his actions have preached a powerful sermon about what a creative mind and strong determination can accomplish.

Note: I do not wish to downplay the accomplishment of Steve Fonyo, who picked up Fox's dream, but I do feel obliged to focus upon the vision and creavitity of those Canadians who thought up ways to give us champions that nobody on the planet could possibly denigrate.

Compared against such people, who am I? Some guy with a blog. I climbed some stairs and I suppose my heart is better for the effort. I named a sport in a silly blog article and I hope I got a few laughs. That's pretty good, I guess, but nothing I have ever done can stand up to what these fellows have done. Before I get back to being facetious, let's be clear about that, okay? Anyway, that's enough self-deprecation, so I'm now going to put a stop to all this humility stuff.

Today my legs felt very odd. I don't suppose too many readers will relate to what I'm about to describe, but I can only describe the sensation as "painfully springy". You have the feeling that your legs have been well worked-out, but you also have the feeling that you're dang well not going to do it again for a day or two.

Ah, the heck with it. I normally like to wrap up my blog articles with some kind of wise-ass witticism. I don't want to do that today. Usually I like to give people a parting comment that gives them a nice grin, but today I'd like them to think about our Canadian idols. We've got lots of 'em, but being Canadian, we don't talk about them much. So let me name a few Canadians who have impressed me...

Terry Fox (obviously). Lester B. Pearson, who put forth the idea that armies can be a force for peace. Pierre Trudeau, who somehow made arrogance cool. Billy Bishop, who played the angles and gave us a chance to wonder about what hero-worship means. The list could go on and on, but since we're Canadian, it doesn't.

I'm going to close by giving a nod to that much-maligned fellow Ben Johnson. When he was acclaimed as the "fastest man on Earth", we Canadians rejoiced. When it later came out that he had apparently used steroids, he suddenly became Jamaican. We overlooked the testosterone-enhanced Russian gymnasts and cast him ignominiously into the trash-heap of history. And while we're on this subject, let's also give a nod to Steve Fonyo, whom I've already mentioned. Apparently he wasn't perfect, and so he too got frowned upon despite his collosal achievement.

Why are we Canadians so hesitant to ignore a few details and lionize our citizens? Are we that afraid that this would make us American?

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