What I Learned from My Hero Popeye
Posted October 2, 2013on:
My Mom used to tell the story of when I was around three and asked for a “Toot –Toot” for Christmas. It took my parents quite a while, but they finally figured out that I wanted a corncob pipe so that I could be like my hero Popeye.
I still remember how excited I was that Christmas morning to find a pipe amongst my gifts. I walked around with it in my mouth feeling like it was giving me special Popeye powers, until my parents kindly suggested giving it a special place on one of my shelves. After all, what would the neighbors think?
I would also drive my mother crazy singing the Popeye theme song:
“I’m Popeye the Sailor Man; I’m Popeye the Sailor Man,
I yam what’s I yam, and that’s all what’s I am
I’m Popeye the Sailor Man”
My hero was a man who showed up authentically, with no excuses. He was unique. He was vulnerable. He had good moments and bad. But, he was always authentically himself.
I can look back now and recognize that lesson in authenticity, feeling grateful that is what stuck with me, not smoking a pipe. Maybe, Popeye really was a hero…
Oh, and I eat a lot of spinach too.
Beware. If you watch this, the song may get stuck in your head. Help!
Your Turn: Did you have a favorite childhood hero? I would love to hear about them. You can share by clicking “Leave a Comment” below the title of this post.