As a kid, he had always been enamored of the idea of being a hero. Heroes got the cool powers and beat all the bad guys. Sometimes they lost, but they always won in the end.
As a teen, he still loved the thought of being a hero, but it was tempered by the knowledge that bad things happened to good people, the world was filled with thankless people, and heroes didn’t always win.
As an adult, he thought he had given up on that childish dream, until he saw someone getting robbed. With only a slight hesitation (what if I fail?), he jumped in and beat up the robber while the victim called the police.
As a local hero, life continued pretty much unchanged. Occasionally, people would stare and whisper, but that stopped as the weeks passed. In the end, all he had was the satisfaction of having done the right thing.
And he understood why the heroes kept going.