Would you be able to recognize a superhero if you looked one in the face? Would you be able to see the unique features that make them extraordinary? Would you aline yourself next to them to face an enemy head on?
There are superheroes among us. They are our neighbors, friends, co-workers, complete strangers and even our family members. They are artists, musicians, employees, scholars, teachers, healers. Their actions create messages of inspiration as they possess the superhuman power to soothe guilt and feelings of helplessness. They instill compassion and goodwill to all those who witness them in action. These superheroes are exceptionally skillful and have become successful in standing up to a villain so sinister that if they let down their guard for even a small moment, it can take their life.
These superheroes choose every day, to make a difference in the world around them. Whether it be feeding the emotionally hungry, comforting the sick, cleaning up their neighborhoods, installing hope within the younger generation they save real lives in very real ways. Yet these superheroes don’t hide behind superhero masks nor are they recognized by a costume. But they are easily recognized by emblem, their sheer numbers and their call to arms. They are, simply put, the AIIA Athletes.
On any given day you would never be able to distinguish them from any other productive member of society, yet several times each week and often every weekend you will see these superheroes assemble at the starting lines within the battlegrounds of your local 5k’s and Marathons. You will see them on a journey’s course, knocking off miles and crushing the adversarial grip once possessed by addiction with every footstep. You see them preparing for battle as they draw their laces, securing their running shoes to ensure there tactical weapons are protected. They synchronize their watches to monitor physical exertion to reach maximum potential. Last but not least, they identify themselves by adorning the distinguished garment complete with the unifying symbol of ‘Addict II Athlete’ directly over their heart as to protect the most vulnerable chink in the armor.
These heroes are not cowards and they do not surrender to challenge or foe. They do not bask in the glory of accomplishment nor do they boast about their personal strengths. The only reward given to them is the occasional medal, a job well done, yet the inner reward felt deep within their heart is one of tremendous value, overwhelming love, immense gratitude, tremendous inspiration and solid purpose.
That is how you recognize an AIIA superhero. Just to make sure it’s the real deal and not an imposter, you find yourself running alongside these athletes, simply call out as loud as you can, the AIIA battle cry… “Athletes who am I”…. and trust what you hear in response.