Typically, when we think of heroes, we think of people who have achieved a heroic act, someone who has the traits and abilities others admire, someone who has lived through disastrous times, such as 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina.
Take for example 18-year old Ismael Jimenez, a student from Animo Inglewood Charter High School. In April 2014, a FedEx truck veered across Interstate 5 and headed into oncoming traffic. The FedEx truck and the charter bus Ismael and his peers were on collided. The fiery bus crash led to 5 student deaths, 3 adult chaperons, and the deaths of both drivers involved in the accident. One witness from the accident indicated that those emerging later from the bus were bruised and covered with blood but unaware that they had been injured because of the shock of the experience.
However, right after the collision, Jimenez, broke a window at the front of the bus as it was filling with smoke. People were getting burned from the heat and fire. Jimenez began to lift kids out in an effort to save them. However, in the end, he was one of the five students who lost their lives that day.
Certainly, the last few moments of his day were heroic, as he helped the other passengers to safety. Although we don’t know the precise medical details, it might be safe to say that he sacrificed his life for the sake of others. In some circles, this is the quintessential definition of a hero – someone who sacrifices something for the larger whole.
In general, a hero or heroine is defined as a person who is admired for his or her courage, outstanding achievements, and noble qualities. And like Jimenez, this is the kind of hero and heroine that’s being celebrated in New York City this summer. Like Jimenez who worked to save the lives of others, the heroes and heroines being celebrated this summer are those who are also working to save lives: their own.
Instead of lifting other people to safety, the heroic achievements of those in sober living are the heroes and heroines in the limelight this August, who are lifting their own lives to safety. Given the remarkable mountain that those with addictions must climb and the daunting task of breaking free of their past, they are indeed heroes and heroines! We might even see them as the stars of their community. They are the Heroes in Recovery working hard to transform their lives through sober living.
To celebrate these heroes and heroines, you can find community-gathering 6K races taking place around the country. And there’s one in New York City coming up soon:
Manhattan, New York City, Riverside Park on August 16, 2014
The New York event not only intends to bring the community together to break the social stigma of mental illness and addiction but also to raise funds for Xcel University. Xcel University advocates for mental health awareness and making quality mental health services to everyone. They are a voice for those in recovery, encouraging them to overcome obstacles and to participate in their recovery with commitment and conviction.
If you want to support the movement and lend a hand to those struggling with addiction, run in the race! You can find information about New York’s race here. Help break the stigma of addiction by joining us!
Heroes in Recovery 6K in New York, NY
Riverside Park – 103 Street Promenade
August 16, 2014
Race begins at 8:30am!
And even if you’re not in a sober living program, if you simply want to honor those like Jimenez, who are working toward saving the life in themselves, come join us. All heroes and heroines are welcome!
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