Be Strong, Be Useful
When we think of superheroes, we tend to think of recent Hollywood film heroes like Superman, Spiderman or Wonder Woman. These are all undeniably superheroes with their unique powers. However, each of us has an opportunity to become a superhero. We may not wear capes and masks or have out-of-this-world physical gifts, but we can possess all the attributes of a true superhero – bravery, strength and a desire to help others.
The concept of the everyday superhero is not a new one. Back in the early 20th century, the French physical educator Georges Hébert famously came up with the phrase, "Being strong to be useful." He based that concept on a real-life experience that convinced him of the need for everyone to become a superhero. In 1902, Hébert famously led an evacuation and rescue mission for 700 people when a volcano erupted in Martinique.
Be Strong, Be Useful
"Be strong to be useful" encompasses an entire theory of what it means to be strong, and the wonderful things that can be accomplished if you combine athletic strength with bravery and altruism.
Hébert even came up with a whole system of training the body known as the "Natural Method" that was based on the observations of the natural movements of physically fit people. Being able to climb, maintain balance, throw, lift heavy weights, and swim were all components of being a modern-day superhero. Furthermore, such a superhero would be able to control fears that were brought on by a deficit of some physical skill – he or she wouldn't be afraid to fall, to walk on certain surfaces, or run through life-threatening environments.
Being practical with your natural movement abilities means that you will be able to help yourself as well as others. It doesn't guarantee that you will be able to pull a drowning person out of the ocean, or run into a blazing building to rescue a small child from a fire – but it does mean that you will be better prepared and willing to act when the time comes.
Avoid Your Kryptonite
To become your own superhero, though, you need to avoid your 'Kryptonite' – all the negative factors and weaknesses that all of us have. Some of these include: poor quality nutrition, always choosing convenience over physical activity, and a lack of sleep. These are all factors that prevent us from getting stronger. They sap our strength as a potential superhero - avoid your Kryptonite at every opportunity. Work on your strengths as well as your weaknesses.
Thus, becoming a superhero is about more than just the physical attributes that we associate with the likes of Batman or Supergirl. It is also a commitment to leading a certain type of life, where you are not doing it for your own ego, but as a way to improve your own life and the life of those around you.
We've all heard stories about the amazing feats of bravery and strength that people are capable of during moments of crisis. By becoming your own superhero, maybe one day it will be you sharing your superpowers with others!