A hero ain't nothin but a sandwich.

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I love this so hard.

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Do you know where it's from?

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My hero...Angela Davis at the moment.

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My dad...too many stories to be told but he is always being my hero

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Abe Lincoln. He freed slaves and killed vampires in slow motion.

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My hero is actually a heroine. I met her when I was in high school and she was just finishing sixth grade. She was the strongest and most athletic person, girl or boy, in the neighborhood, and she also had great emotional strength. I'm ashamed to say that I grew jealous of her athletic prowess and picked a fight with her that summer. Although I was four years older and a guy, she handled me easily. I was thankful, though, that she didn't try to hurt me. She just put me in my place. I apologized and we became friends. Later in the summer another girl was bullying me. She beat me up multiple times, and I didn't know where to turn for help. Finally, I approached Kim and told her about my predicament. I asked her to protect me, but she did something better. She asked the bully to leave me alone for a month. She worked with me during that month, teaching me to fight and helping me get stronger. Eventually, I was able to stand up to the bully, which helped me more than if Kim had simply fought my fight for me. During my last two years of high school, Kim's parents would let me pick her up from basketball practices and games. Once, after a late game, two guys jumped us. One of them knocked me down. From my vantage point on the ground, I watched Kim fight them off. She threw one of them on top of me, and I hit him in the head. They both ran away. Kim, although she had been in the middle of an intense fight, was very calm about the whole thing. She helped me to the car and we made it home. She didn't say much about it and asked me not to say anything. I haven't, until now.

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That is wonderful. Kim does sound like an amazing, powerful young woman and a true friend. How did she help you prepare for the fight with the bully?

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She was very tough on me, actually. She made me run, do pushups, lift weights, and wrestle. More than once, I begged her to just fight the bully for me. I thought the things she was asking me to do were simply too hard. She would want me to lift as much weight or do as many pushups as she was doing, and I couldn't. I remember crying one day when she told me to do another set of pushups. I was exhausted. She pushed me hard, and she was a great role model. I wanted to be more like her, and that motivated me to continue working.

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It must have been humbling for you to have to ask a girl, and one who was younger, for help in dealing with a bully. I commend you for doing that. Was it hard to beat the bully?

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Very hard. I was scared. When the day came, I actually asked Kim again if she would just fight the bully for me, but she told me that I wouldn't respect myself if I let her do that. Lisa, who had been bullying me, was very mean. I confess that she beat me up again after the month was over, but I gave a better account of myself. Kim was able to make Lisa agree to leave me alone for another couple of weeks, and she worked with me some more. Finally, I fought Lisa and made her give up. It was the greatest feeling ever, and Kim was there to see it. She told me she was proud of me, and she told Lisa not to ever bother me again.

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I'm proud of you too. It's never easy to stand up to a bully. Was Lisa quite a bit bigger?

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Thank you. Lisa was Kim's age, so she was four years younger than me. She loved to fight, and she was good at it. She beat up other boys in the neighborhood. She was a terrible bully. It was frightening to stand up to her, but I did it.

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Did you and Kim have any type of relationship after she helped you?

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I was in high school and Kim was in middle school, so it was hard to have any sort of relationship. We would do some sports-type things. Basketball, tennis, swimming. But she was so much better than me at everything that I think she got bored with it. I went to a lot of her games when she played junior high basketball and softball. It was after a basketball game that she saved me from two bullies. I don't know what they wanted. Kim threw one of them to the ground, and they both ran away. We tried dating some when I was in college and she was in high school, but it was an awkward situation. I was the weaker sex in the relationship, and we both knew that wasn't going to change. I looked up to her as a protector and mentor, my hero. But I don't think that's what she wanted.

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Well I think that's sad. She wouldn't accept that she was the stronger partner in the relationship, or did you have a problem being the weaker partner?

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No, I accepted that. We talked about it and agreed that we would have to have sort of an upside-down relationship. She took the lead on most things. She opened doors for me, that kind of thing. It actually made me feel special. But high school got in the way, to be honest. She was a star athlete, and she was faced with her college decision. It was hard for me to play a role in that. Anyway, we drifted apart. She will always be my hero.

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Thank you for sharing. Kim sounds like an extraordinary woman.

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