I’m Not Trying to Be A Hero

My dad first said this to me when we went camping in the Adirondacks and I laughed as he blew up an air mattress for his tent. I was used to sleeping on the ground.

“I’m not trying to be a hero.” He says after the loud air compressor accomplished its task.

He wasn’t trying to prove anything to anyone, he was just going to do what he wanted to do and what was most comfortable. At 60 he can still outpace me and most of my friends up a mountain, bike whole islands in a day, do ridiculous calculations in his head in the time it would take me to pull up the calculator on my iPhone, and has been noted to say “Its only fun if you could die at any moment.” He isn’t trying to impress you with any of that, he could care less what you think…and that’s why its impressive.

Even if at some times his lack of caring about other’s opinion’s is embarrassing to a daughter.

We all want to live up to others expectations, but we find true peace when we let go of them. We can be more authentic when we let go of what others may or may not think of our decisions. Realize what accomplishments really matter to you and which don’t. It is okay to go at our own pace, to be the last in line up a mountain, or to ease the discomforts of “roughing it” with some modern comfort.

Steve Henkels drives us to hike up in the Adirondacks.
Steve Henkels drives us to hike up in the Adirondacks.

Ironically, if you have the courage to be true to yourself, to follow your own path, and to follow your dreams despite what others may think, you will end up as someone’s hero. Now,  when I camp with my dad I’ll borrow an air mattress, and you know what?


You don’t have to be a hero, just be true to yourself.



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