For a year or 2 now, I've been my oldest daughters hero. It's been kind of fun to watch, but it's also given me pause to think before I do stuff.
My parents were good people, but the one thing I never saw them doing was stepping outside the box and trying to better themselves. My dad was devoted to providing for our family and my mom was devoted to being a stay-at-home mom. I think they did themselves a huge disservice by doing that, and I sometimes wonder if they did us kids a disservice as well. My girls are already asking when they can do a triathlon with me. My oldest wants to know if she can try and do an ironman with me when she turns 18.... I've said sure, but this means I'm going to have to do at least 1 before then, and then keep myself fit enough that I can still do one when I'm 44. Not a bad motivator at all, and I think she has the drive that she could probably pull it off.
I got to thinking about this topic yesterday... The same daughter had her birthday party. We had a friend of mine run the party. My friend is in the process of starting up a kids fitness center, and parties are part of what they do. It went really well, and the kids loved it, but that wasn't what got me thinking about hero's... My friend always carries water with her in a Nalgene bottle... So as she's walking around setting up the games and cones and all that, the bottle goes around as well. My daughter was stuck to her like glue from the minute she walked in the door, and then all of a sudden, 10 minutes into it, she dashed into the house and vanished for a couple of minutes. She emerged with one of my water bottles and has been carrying it around ever since. I thought it was pretty cute!
I think hero worship is a good thing in moderation. If we can identify a hero and are able to take from that person habits and traits which make us better. I think the danger comes in becoming obsessed with that person and following everything they do, regardless of whether it's good or not.
I have some hero's too. I think they would likely be embarrassed to be mentioned here, so I won't, at least not now. I'm sure they're generally just normal people, but they have also done extraordinary things in their lives. To all my hero's past, present and future, Thanks! To those whom my kids do and will worship, thank-you as well, and know that there is a good chance you have someone, somewhere that looks to you as an example and wants to be like you.