As we’ve discussed, I’ve enjoyed athletics since a very young age. It’s no wonder than that one of my favorite literary characters is William “Chip” Hilton of the Chip Hilton series by famous coach Clair Bee. Chip Hilton is a talented athlete who plays football, basketball, and baseball and along with his friends manage to get involved in a lot of drama over the series of books. The books start with Chip and his friends in high school and follows them to college where they are joined by a few new friends.
While Chip as the main character of a series of is going to be really good at sports, there is still struggle and drama within the world of sport that helps the reader to by into this series. Additionally, while Chip may be the main character, his friends and those he might along the way also take very pivotal roles. This helps reinforce some of the basic fundamentals that I’ve come to appreciate about the role of athletics as a means of teaching things: 1. Sometimes you will struggle and your character is not defined when things are going right, but rather in the moments when things aren’t. 2. Who you surround yourself with is important. You have the choice. 3. Teams are made up of multiple people. If you isolate yourself on a team you lose the greatest strength of a team. Also the series does a nice job of actually depicting sports and the somewhat complicated relationship between coaches and players, and fans, families, etc. It even includes some actual sport plays and terminology that you don’t always see in other sport genre books.
I suppose another reason that I appreciated Chip Hilton as a character besides the fact that he had somewhat similar physical features to me, was his willingness to help others. As an athlete you are a role model naturally, but Chip took this notoriety and used it to display a compassion for those around him. While he still had disagreements with people, he never really stopped caring and never gave up on others. Instead he would constantly try to find a solution to problems, even if occasionally that meant he’d get into trouble as a consequence.
Finally, I think the thing that above all I strive to be from the Chip Hilton series is at the end of the day, Chip Hilton was a friend. If any of his friends needed him, he was the first person they would go to. Sometimes he would go to them before they were ready to come to him. That to me is a characteristic I strive to become to those around me, and hope to be labeled as for a legacy… true friend.
If your friends were asked to describe you what’s the top word they would use? Is that what you want it to be?