Inspiration Is Everywhere
I've been thinking about that question since I came back from my long run on Friday. I was coming out of the woods at the top of my street. My neighbor was just coming up the hill, finishing her walk with her dog. She and I had chatted a couple days before as she was walking her dog and I was running up and down our hill, doing hill repeats. We had talked about how nice it was to see someone else out enjoying the outdoors. When I told her on Friday that I was just finishing a 22-mile run in the woods, she shouted out that I was her inspiration.
And that got me thinking.
I actually find her an inspiration. She doesn't walk fast or particularly far, but she walks just about every day. I'm sure if she were asked, she would simply say the dog needs to go out. However, she has a large fenced in part of her yard, so the dog doesn't have to walk the hill. But every day she and her dog walk to the bottom of our hill and back up. Mind you, that's no small achievement - we have a long, steep hill. Cold, rain, sun...it doesn't matter. She walks the hill.
When I still lived in the city, there was a morbidly obese man who came to the pool at my gym. A lot of people would look at him like he was some freak, somehow terribly out of place at a gym. I imagine he must have been very self-conscious. But in spite of any discomfort, he came to the pool almost every day. He wore shorts and a huge T-shirt. He would lower himself into the shallow end and start walking.
On my recent Kilimanjaro climb with Above & Beyond Cancer I was inspired daily by my teammates. Often, I was most inspired by the slowest or weakest in our group. I marveled at their persistence. I gleefully watched as they would stumble into camp with the help of teammates, exhausted, but determined to continue another day.
I love the underdogs! I love the guys who overcome their fears, who persist in spite of every difficulty. Yes, strong trained athletes can be impressive, but it's the ordinary Joe overcoming obstacles that inspires me. It's the person who manages to lose and keep off 5 pounds by balancing healthier food choices with a bit more exercise. It's the one who runs his first race even though he knows he'll probably finish last - and then signs up for another race. It's the woman who walks to work. It's my neighbor.
Inspiration is everywhere if you stay open to it. Where does your inspiration come from?
- BY Julie Goodale | 02.19.2012
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