I love stories about unlikely heroes. It doesn’t matter that the storyline is always fairly uniform. I’m captivated.
The beginning paints a dark picture of the next to unbearable life of a helpless person stuck in mundane hopelessness. About to approach doom, he is offered one final chance of turning his life around and avoiding the looming disaster. In return however, he must leave everything he knows behind and jump blindfolded into the unknown. Even with the bright glimmer of the previously impossible dream, he hesitates. He is scared. A failure could be fatal. The isolated life he’s living may not be ideal, but it’s safe and familiar. It’s only when he meets his mentor, who vows to protect and guide him through the journey ahead, that he apprehensively accepts the challenge.
The middle of the story portrays the person’s struggles in the new world he has just entered. He’s in unfamiliar terrain. Not equipped with appropriate tools, he must endure a great deal. There are numerous tests and trials, sneaky temptations, skilled enemies and unexpected allies. He falls into some of the traps along the way, escaping a few. Although he is injured and powerless, his guide refuses to carry him and instead, sets him up against the ultimate obstacle. “Unbelievable!”, he thinks. He’s been abandoned on hostile ground.
The story ends with a final test of character. Everything is at stake. The transformation into a hero is complete, when he conquers his demons and comes to the realisation that he is able to take control of his own life and actions. He can return home a celebrated hero, but the most fundamental change, the major shift, is his newfound confidence.
You are not supposed to like reality TV. Thought-provoking documentaries are a much more socially acceptable genre. So, I tell you in confidence: I’m completely and utterly hooked on the transformational stories of “Fat: The Fight of My Life”. It’s a series where the American celebrity trainer Jessie Pavelka coaches obese Brits on their year-long slimming expedition to better health. Call me naive, but I love it when the unlikely hero comes through in the end. Although I’m not obese, I can so relate to wanting to break free from your comfort zone and discover new possibilities. When done against all odds, it’s such a classic hero’s journey.