This is a story that unites recovery from the Boston Marathon bombing, my memories, and a young man who lost his legs to mountain climbing while still in high school. Hugh Herr was the boy’s name, and I followed his progress in the media. He attended a neighboring high school; I met his parents, and even a sister at one time or another. His first ambition was to get back on the mountains, climbing. And he did. He learned how bionic legs work, invented his own bionic feet to help him climb, and conquered impossible mountains.
Of course, that’s not the end of the story. He left the mountains and returned to bionics. Together with other experts at MIT, he now works to help amputees returning from war as well as the dancer who lost her foot in Boston. The local article that reminded me of this amazing man is “Hugh Herr and ‘the healing power of high technology’.” From that article, I found the site and video (at the end) with Hugh Herr’s talk and Adrianne Haslet-Davis’ dance. Mr. Herr includes videos of his teen-age climbs, explains the progress of bionics, and shows a variety of examples as he walks on his bionic legs. The dancer gracefully demonstrates the fulfillment of her dream. Both are truly inspiring.
This post is nothing about books, but one that’s inspired me for years and one that I wanted to share. There are many such people, even though we writers focus on the evil and dangerous to amuse our readers. Of course, each story must include a hero, one to bring the world back into balance. Just for today, I want to focus on those heroes in life.