“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”~ Audrey Hepburn
Today was a lesson in inspiration. And figuring out who or what inspires you.
The image that you see before you is of a model who goes by the name RedVamp. I am sure that you can figure out why.
She began her modeling career back in 2001 and I remember the days back then where she seemed to be everywhere you looked… that is IF you did the right searches on the Internet. You just simply were not going to get away from her.
Needless to say that was not a problem for me. I welcomed her (or the thought of her) into my life. And I’ve always been amazed by her and whenever I would attempt to contact her, I would make sure that I spoke to her like a human being… rather than like these scores of “fans” would do. Leaving these disgusting comments as so many members of the male gender will leave behind. I hoped she’d see beyond that and realize that I wasn’t about to be one of those kinds of fans.
I read in an interview back in 2003 that she had trouble dealing with the idea or fact that she did have “fans” … hell, I have always been one of them.
But as life moves on, RedVamp decided to put an end to her modeling career and focus on other things in life. Including the fact that she live her life as a loving wife and mother.
Out of the public spotlight she left and into her own personal life away from it all. It appeared that she wanted to focus more on things that were far greater and more important to her than modeling and fame.
But had I made a dent? Did I keep the lines of communication fluid enough for her to realize that I wasn’t “one of those kinds” and that everything would be okay? Was there any impact?
Nobody would be able to tell.
She vanished. Everything that was searchable on the Internet was basically material that was left behind. Nothing updated, nothing new. She was gone.
But then I would be surprised to cross paths with her one more time while I was with my last girlfriend.
Again, speaking to her like she is…. a human being got me farther than anything else in this world. She was polite, social, friendly, and trusting.
And when my last relationship came crashing down in flames, she was there to offer her condolences. It was something that I didn’t expect. After all… what or who was I to her? Just a fan.
I didn’t realize that what RedVamp was doing was reciprocating the favor of treating ME too… as a human being. With feelings, thoughts, and emotions.
That one time that we reconnected, I would learn that she had stopped modeling in 2008 and moved on. And I applauded her greatly. even though as a fan of hers I was greatly disappointed to know that there would no longer be any more modeling work to view.
I was just really glad that RedVamp did not get sucked into that vortex of vanity and selfishness and “look at me! look at me!! I’m pretty!! everyone look at me!!!”
She had come out of the fires and ashes to remain the same woman she was before she became a model. Only now more grown up.
And here I am to the point of telling you this story.
With the modeling out of the way, it was a true test to see whether or not I could hold a cogent conversation with her and talk about other things… outside of how beautiful she is and this photograph was awesome and the like. This model now a woman looked upon me with favor. I just did not realize it at the time. Nor did I realize how much favor was bestowed upon me.
I too moved on. I started playing sledge hockey. Did other things and kept moving no matter despite the bumps in the road that life can often throw in the way.
RedVamp was a silent watcher so to speak.
She took notice of all the things I involved myself in, regardless of the fact of the disability that I live with every day of my life since birth.
It was RedVamp who was finding more inspiration than I could ever imagine there being.
She mentioned in that interview long ago that she was trying to get used to the idea of having “fans” when in fact RedVamp has turned into one of MY fans!! And she has mentioned many, many times how much she finds hope and determination and courage in me. She adores the fact that I play sledge hockey and believes that it is one of the most remarkable things that she has ever heard of. For people with disabilities to be able to play the sport of ice hockey and have it made so that they can enjoy it as well, just really blows her away. The other fact that she knows that I play it and have done well thus far is another thing that causes her to be so proud.
But who am I? I mean after all, RedVamp is the beautiful model… she’s the beautiful woman that has throughout the years in the past gathered so much attention and built in her own way her “fandom” – how can this be that SHE is the one that gets inspired by me and what I do?
The fact is that its been that way for a while and just lately, she’s been able to tell me about it. And every time that I hear about it… it floors me to the point of actual physical tears that run down my face.
I know that certain people love the idea of me playing sled hockey. My family, my colleagues, my close personal friends all support me. And I love it every time I am introducing the sport to someone new and watching their faces as they begin to learn about this sport that I play whenever I show them the short video clips that are YouTube. It comes with the territory that I have surrounded myself with people who also play the sport and who also have people close that love them that support them too. So everyone is supporting everyone else.
But to have that one person… such as RedVamp to also support me in what I do in sled hockey, its just beyond words. I honestly didn’t think that that I meant that much to anyone outside of the small circles. I never thought of myself to have my own “fandom” but there sits RedVamp. And she still sits there today with awe and wonder.
She and I are starting to become good friends now. We talk whenever we can. And like I said, she brings up all the time that she is inspired by me. And we hope that one day our paths will cross in real life that we will meet face to face. Because if you asked anyone that close, they would tell you that I’ve dreamed of that happening for over ten years now. And RedVamp is most certain that one day that she will meet me… a person that inspires her.
So in conclusion, here is my point to all of this admiration, this mushy adulation and what not.
Be the best that you can be. Do your best in everything that you do. And give it your all. Because you never really know who is watching you. You never really know who you are inspiring to do the best in everything that THEY can do. You just may be that secret inspiration of many people, like I just found out earlier this evening.