A few days ago a friend and I were discussing who is on our Mt. Rushmore of influencers. The "heros" who have had the greatest impact for us. Not the real people who we know and interact with, those influences are obviously the greatest, but those whom we admired from
afar. Here's the list I came up with and a brief description of why each was chosen.
Magic Johnson. When I first started following sports as a teenager, it was at that time that he began his professional career with the Lakers. He was the ultimate winner. His career lasted only 12 years due to his contraction on HIV in 1992, but in those 12 years he led the Lakers to 5 NBA Championships and 4 other appearances in the Finals. Only 3 times did he not play for the championship! Also, he was best known for making his teammates better. Always putting the teams success over his own. After his playing career ended prematurely, he set out to defeat the HIV virus, which if you remember back in the early 90's was an automatic death sentence. He is still alive and well 28 years later. Not to mention the phenomenal success he's had in the business world. He is still the ultimate winner.
Joe Perry. I've been a music fan my whole life and got my introduction to Aerosmith via their album Live Bootleg. The way he plays is just cool. To me he is the coolest rock star of all-time. He is not even in the conversation of greatest guitar players, it doesn't matter, he's cool. When he and the rest of the band kicked their drug and alcohol addictions in the mid 80's, he took a serious interest in his health and fitness. He was rocking out on stage well into his 40's with his shirt off because he had a pretty jacked body. I got the chance to meet and take a pic with him. I've seen Aerosmith from the front row quite a few times, along with his solo band. The dude is just the coolest rock star ever.
Sylvester Stallone. If you know me you know I'm a huge Rocky fan. Because the movies are on so frequently I end up watching at least one of them every week. But, Stallone is much more than the Rocky character. You probably know that he wrote the original movie, then wouldn't let the studio cast another actor to play the part (they actually wanted to use John Travolta). He has since gone on to write, act and direct many of his movies. I don't think anyone can deny he is the greatest action movie star of all time. He performs most of his own stunts, keeps his body in great physical condition (even now at 74!), and is also a very successful business man inside and outside of the movie world.
Rich Froning. My first introduction to CrossFit was watching a replay of the 2012 CrossFit Games. The new sport of fitness wasn't even worthy of a live broadcast because it was still so small. Obviously, that introduction led to a dramatic lifestyle change for me. CrossFit has become one of the most important aspects of my life. During those 2012 CrossFit Games Rich won his 2nd consecutive title. He would go on to win 2 more times becoming a four time Champion. He retired from individual competition to focus on his family. He and his wife had adopted a baby girl, then subsequently two more adoptions. His CrossFit career did not end though as he started his team and has now won the team series of the CrossFit Games 4 times in the past five years, along with one 2nd place finish. He is a man with a strong Christian faith as well.