We Are the Champions

One of the first things I bought with my first pocketful of babysitting money was my first album. It was “The Game” by Queen. I think our high school cheerleading squad nailed a district competition with a well-timed back flip landing to “Another One Bites the Dust.” (Good job, Noelle Hodge, wherever you are!) 

You won’t be surprised to learn at this point that Queen was my first concert. It was during the 80s, so that right there tells you it was a big time … and that was just my hair. I was mesmerized by Freddie Mercury’s powerful voice and larger-than-life stage presence. Who wasn’t? Fast forward a few decades and all three of our kids — ages 11 to 23 — say that Queen tops their list of favorite bands. Queen is a classic band that stands the test of time. When a legendary band like Queen has something to say, we all listen … 

One of our new profile stories for this issue is entitled “Champions Among Us.” So, naturally I’ve got Queen’s “We Are the Champions” humming in my head. And why not? This heartening story is deserving of its own soundtrack. It was written by Christy Kearney of Fort Walton Beach whose byline you may recognize from a few issues back. Christy is a thoughtful writer and also a teacher and former principal, so as a champion of education in her own right, she was a perfect fit for this story.

“Champions” will be shared as a series of installments. This issue features the first two. Christy tells the stories of Emerald Coast residents who are driven to champion a cause, idea or dream — and in some cases, all of the above. I suspect that at some point these “champions” were themselves inspired by someone. And we hope hearing their stirring stories inspires you. 

All of these individuals are passionate about living a purpose-driven life. In many cases, they choose to take the road less traveled. We are fortunate here on the EC to have so many amazing advocates taking the lead on important causes that run the gamut from the cultural arts to children’s rights. 

You can join the ranks of this elite group and be a champion, too. It doesn’t mean having to give up your day job. You can be a champion every single day with the choices you make. By donating to a charity, by volunteering some time, by voicing a concern, by coming to the rescue in some way, by mentoring, by making a difference in someone’s day … and the list goes on. Essentially, just by caring enough to act on something important to you. 

This time of year is a time of reflection and renewal — of taking stock of things, of taking care of things. What better time than now to become a champion — to become your best you? (And, as an added bonus feel free to belt out Queen hits — you have earned at least a few minutes of limelight.)

Recall how Freddie stirs us: “We are the champions, my friends. And we’ll keep on fighting till the end. No time for losers. ’Cause we are the champions.” 

Rock on! 

Categories: Opinion