In Search of Heroes

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

(Best of 2008 Series: The Rise of the Blogs and the Birth of a Forum)

There is a phase in a running addict's life when all he wants to read and talk about is running. Since August 2008 I have been in that phase. It was not enough that I registered and joined foot races. I must download route maps and race results. Early into that phase, Google searches would yield names like baldrunner and bullrunner. I was intrigued by the photo of the bald man in shades and was impressed by his Project Donate A Shoe. What captivated me however was this woman and her blog called The Bullrunner.
I am familiar with blogs and in fact maintain one for my dog fancy, but I never realized there is a community of Filipino runners who blog about their exploits. Back in 2003 when I first joined races, I never heard of such a thing. All I could recall then was downloading my first triathlon results from the organizer's website.
Incidentally, I had my first live brush with legendary TBR in my second triathlon after a long, long hiatus. My friend Me-Ann introduced us, we had our photo op and the next time I saw her was when she "chicked" me in the run leg of the mini-sprint. I deserved it - I was slooooow and she was really fast. I would later read her post about our shared triathlon experience, and from that moment I was hooked. She had that power of empathy - of drawing you in and letting everyone jointly relive and relish the experience through her simple writing. I was so drawn into it I found myself making a comment on her post - something I never imagined myself doing. I likened her to the Cheerleader of that TV series Heroes. She is a cheerleader in that she draws out the runner in all of us. She is an important figure in the local running scene. Just like in the TV series, "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World." The local running world at least. My only prayer for her is that like the Cheerleader, she will have the Heroes ability to heal herself from injury.
But where is Peter Petrelli, the empath who absorbs other Heroes' powers? While the Jaymie the Bullrunner cheers us 2-4 times a week, my running addiction wants more. I want my fix on a daily basis and I need the whole gamut of uppers, downers and hallucinogens. Maybe there is a Peter Petrelli capable of absorbing the ability to cheer and heal of the Cheerleader, ability to see and paint the future like the Artist, the superhuman strength of the Stripper, the time-travelling skill of Hiro Nakamura, and the mind-reading gift of the Detective. Once I found Peter, then all I have to do is read his blog, and I would get the fix I crave.
I surfed the blogosphere for more Heroes. I fancied myself as geneticist Mohinder Suresh in pursuit of bloggers with superhuman abilities. (I like genetics but I must admit Coach Rio looks more like Mohinder with his skin tone and curls.) I continued my search for Peter. Every now and then I would stumble on bloggers with Peter Petrelli-like abilities, but always there is something missing or wanting. Along the way I decided to blog myself. Hey, wait a minute...maybe I am Peter! This is my blog anyway and I enjoy the sole power to cast characters in my story. My moralistic Freudian superego countered: "Hell NO! You don't have the heart and humility of Peter. At best you can probably be his brother Nathan, concerned with the trappings of the world but exhibits good heart when he flies off with burning Peter to save New York". Ok, that sounds good enough. Nathan gets to sleep with the Stripper, right, and ends up being President! My superego retracted, "Nathan may prove to be your undoing. Let us just settle for Hiro Nakamura. You like Japan and you're nostalgic anyway."
How about this blogger Jinoe (ManokanExpress)? He seems kind-hearted and humble. Can he be Peter Petrelli?
For Christ's sake, the guy has Chicken for a name! How can he be a superhero!?
Heroes are found in the most unexpected places. Maybe that's what our local running world needs - a simple, unassuming person?
Yes, Peter was a simple hospice nurse, but he does have absorptive powers! What powers does Jinoe have?
He conceived, a forum where you runners can congregate. Do you really need a Peter Petrelli? All Peter did was bring together the abilities of others. Most of the powers he has, he only got from others. Would a superhuman Peter arise from the ranks of runner-bloggers? I don't know. Maybe Peter Petrelli lives in each one of us. Maybe we are heroes all.


Jinoe December 17, 2008 at 7:25 PM  

For someone who havent seen a single episode of Heroes, I find this very amusing.

Chicken pala ha.... Hmmm... :D

Rico Villanueva December 17, 2008 at 11:58 PM  

Jinoe, the pun was intended, pero baka ma-miss-interpret kaya in-edit ko na hehe (FYI: I changed the statement "the guy is a chicken" to "the guy has Chicken for a name") Seriously Mr. ChickenExpress, I meant every adjective I said.

Anonymous December 18, 2008 at 12:38 AM  

nice post Rico. yung blog din ni Jaymie ang una kong nabasa when I started running.

Jinoe, manood ka ng Heroes. Nakaka-addict!

Anonymous December 18, 2008 at 11:27 AM  

Rico, definitely a nice post. I've never seen Heroes either other than the commercials. Interesting stories on the show.

On a personal note, all 57 blogs on SFrunner are my heroes!

Take care and Happy Holidays to you. Definitely, we need to meet next year.

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