Jan. 16, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

We’ve all got them. There are people in our lives we cannot help but look up to. Few wear capes, but all seem to be able to accomplish impossible feats through less than favorable conditions.

What I want to know is this. Who are your heroes? What makes a hero? And how do you attempt to become more like yours?

In the beginning, three years ago, the “Ask the Goat” column was just that – a question and answer driven weekly article that followed a “Dear Abbey” format for fitness. Lately, it has been more of an essay format driven by current events. From now through February, I’d like you, Sanford readers, to submit your heroes to me.

In March, I want to feature a local hero each week, whether it be about overcoming illness, enduring military deployment, promoting charitable works or simply a “Dad of the Year” shout-out.

I will need your heroes’ contact information for an interview, and as much information on why they are a hero as you can provide. Your hero doesn’t even have to know that you nominated him/her, but they certainly can if you desire. My email is still:

In today’s world of fast-paced social media, I think we often lose sight of what is really around us. Our friends, family and community are often displaced by Facebook cat pictures and silly cartoon memes. I currently reside in a city of over seven million people, and I see more pictures of cats in hats than I hold conversations each week. So Sanford, look around you. Get me some names of local heroes. I lived amongst you long enough to have met many myself.

During my travels, I met some stellar folks. I have been a part of clubs, groups and tribes that still resonate loudly in my heart. I have made friends on all seven continents, and in over 60 countries scattered across our planet. But in all honesty, my greatest heroes are from my humblest times, my loneliest days and my darkest moments. It is a known fact that perfect worlds have no heroes – there just isn’t a need for them. That being said, I think we can undeniably agree that these times call for strong role models. An imperfect world is ripe with extraordinary humankind.

So I ask again who your hero is. Contact me and let’s give them the recognition that all heroes deserve, but so few receive.