As a young impressionable hockey fanatic whats the first thing to do? find an idol, a hockey god, and for me the right person was too obvious. He was the best, he was passionate and known for not being afraid to skate out and drop the gloves with anyone.
One day my father pulled me aside and gave me a rather rude awakening, this idol of mine had taken his ferocity home with him and beat his wife, and that was it, I could never look at him the same.
It doesn't matter how many games he won, how many immaculate saves he made, he beat his wife.
Although people do deserve redemption and our forgiveness, in the world of sports simply retaining a winning form can be enough to get away with being a horrible person.
In the case of my hockey hero, it looks like it was a one time offense, and that he did many charitable and respectable things throughout the rest of his career.
Well it's happened again, this time within the climbing community, an idol of mine has degraded themselves to personal attacks and threats upon many of my friends and even myself. For a long time simply ignoring these attacks was easy enough, I just lost my respect for this person and tried to move on. But here I am months later, still trying to get over this ugly behavior.
It's the frequency of people I hear talking about this previous idol of mine, how incredible and inspiring they are, it makes me sick.
I want to tell the world, write to this persons many sponsors, write a zillion blogs displaying the malicious messages I received, however I feel the need to refrain, after all this may be a brief lapse in their behavior, and they could still go on to have a successful career and be a decent human being.
(I may still write to their sponsors)
So here's my conclusion, maybe we should take a small snippet from the old testament, remember that part about not having any idols before me? that was supposedly god speaking to Moses, but maybe we should assume the me is the current reader. (yeah I can bible too).
Don't have any idols before yourself, you are good enough I promise.
You don't need sponsorships (or a trust fund), a photographer to follow you around to everything you've ever climbed, or a hoard of worshippers to earn my respect. Be a decent human being and enjoy yourself out there.