Inspiring people are all around us. I’m not talking about the Kobe Bryant’s of the world either. I am talking about normal every day people who somewhere along the way decided to care a little bit more than they used to, stepped up their game, refused to shy away from the hard aspects of life, and then pushed themselves a little harder.

These are the people who we can relate to because we know their backgrounds, faults, downfalls and weaknesses. Despite it all, they get up everyday and make every day awesome. It may not feel that way to them. But the way we see them, they are heroes. They inspire us.

I have chosen to write about one of my hero’s who inspires me.

I am not going to reveal this persons name because he has a past that he may or may not want to be talked about.

He is a young man that I used to coach in water polo. His senior year of high school was cut short due to a combination of alcohol and drug use and being caught with such substances. He was in trouble with the law and put on probation. On top of that, near the end of the school year, his girlfriend became pregnant.

What I have just shared with you is a story that is unfortunately all too common. What comes next is not.

That year my friend gave up. Not on life. His old life. He wanted more. He knew he was capable of more. He knew he was better than that. He resolved within himself to do better. And so he did.

He started working on his GED. He got a job that helped him support his new family. At some point I know he was working two jobs. Even when his girlfriend walked out on him and his daughter, he did not let that get him down. His resolution to be the best dad was only strengthened.

As a single father he worked hard to make sure his family was provided for, he worked hard to make sure his little girl was taken care by great people. He got a promotion at work. Then he got another. And then another. Now he is working on getting a college degree.

In life we face a lot of obstacles. Some come our way as a consequence to our own choices. Some come completely out of our control. How we face them, how we prepare to face them, how we see our own ability to tackle such challenges all factor into how we live this life.

Do we live life as a victim or do we take control and make it awesome. My friend is my hero, because he has showed me that no matter the kind of trouble, the kind of mistakes, the kind of adversity we face, we can face it. We can move past it. We can become something greater than we are now.