Look into your daily life and see who you admire, who you look up to, or who you want to be like. Those people are your role models. There is a lady and her gentleman friend probably in their eighties at my healthclub. If you ran into them on the street you’d never guess that she used to do centuries (bike riding 100 miles) and has recently had to drop down to “only” 50-mile rides. Usually run into them in my spinning class after she has completed a round of singles tennis and he has completed his weight training.
I have referenced John and Margery many times during conversations with others about how I admire this couple at my healthclub. But I have never told Margery or John. So yesterday, I was having a conversation with Margery while waiting for spinning to begin and decided to tell her. “You are my role model”, I said. She acknowledged my comment with a nod and class started so I didn’t get a chance to explain. Just realized that my comment could have been interpreted by her in so many ways like “is this woman a stalker”, “what did she mean by that”, “maybe I’d better stay away from her”, or she could have just been embarrassed.
Now I’m sorry I ever opened this can of worms. I could have continued to admire them from afar. But no…. I had to speak it out. So now I have to clear this up by tracking her down (stalking) and explaining that I admire their tenacity during a time of life when everything is difficult. I admire the fact that just getting up out of bed can be challenging while waiting for everything to realign from laying to sitting then standing. I admire the mental and physical strength it takes to do a 50-mile bikeride. Essentially, I want to be like them when I grow up.
The moral to this story is that it is not important to tell our role models who they are and why. It is important to know that we are all role models to someone including our children, our siblings, our co-workers, and everyone we come into contact with.