I just finished watching NBCs show about the 2005 Ironman Triathlon that takes place in Hawaii. Every once in awhile, they show reruns of the most recent Ironman, so I have seen those several times.
I'm not particularly into sports, but I find those shows so inspiring. There are always people who have struggled to overcome some real obstacles in their lives--old people (there was an 80-year-old who finished this year!), cancer survivors, the handicapped. This year, a 34-year-old man who has been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) finished. So did a young woman with one leg (she has an artificial leg).
Now, the Ironman Triathlon is an especially grueling event and I don't feel that participating in that is necessary, but what I am getting at is that these are people who had a need to prove, to themselves at least, that they could overcome some great obstacle and complete something that was very difficult. These are people who are out there living life and trying things and working hard. They are being persistent and diligent. They have self-discipline. I admire that greatly. I wish the inspired feeling I get lasted longer.
What are some things, big or small, that inspire you? What encourages you to work harder at your own life, in whatever way you need/want to? What helps you hang on to that inspiration?
I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on this.
Tyro, some years ago I had the pleasure of meetind a para-athelete by the name of Pamela. She was in her mid-fifties and competing in halfpipe and slopestyle competitions in the South Lake Tahoe Region through the United States of America Snowboard Association (USASA). First, it was amazing to se that a woman in her mid-fifties was competing in snowboarding events (I though my being in my thirties and competing made me an old man, but she had me beat by twenty years!).
What added to the amazement and pride that I have for this woman is the fact that she only has one leg, or 1 and a half legs, to be more precise. She lost her lower right leg below the knee because of cancer, but she fought back to participate in the sport that she loves and enjoys so much (believe me, I can relate to that feeling ). She was one of the most gracious and considerate people I had ever spoken to, and frankly, if you hadn't known her, you would never realize she was an amputee (hard to tell under all the layers). She never talked about it unless someone specifically asked, and even then she rarely made any big deal about it. She preferred to let her riding do the talking, which it did in spades .
The other person that comes to mind is my friend John from junior high and high school who lived with (and ultimately died from) complications related to spina bifida. His legs were withered and useless, and he had a host of medical problems through much of his life, but he was without a doubt one of the physically strongest guys I ever knew (he could bench press double what I could, probably because his arms were about the equivalent of my legs at the time). He also was an absolute geniuous when it came to developing football plays, so the whole time he was in high school, he was the manager of the varsity football team. During the years that he was their manager, the team went to four north coast division championships. I can't say that it was because of him, but he certainly helped . It was with great sadness when I heard that he had passed away... I was so sure that somehow he would find a way to fight back and beat the odds. In a way, he probably did far more and far better than many ever thought he could. Plus, I loved the fact that he had a sense of humor that allowed him to wear a shirt that said "When God made me... he was just showing off!" .
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boardmadd, those are good--just the type of inspiration that I look for. I just admire so much those who don't let anything stop them. Like your friend, John, sometimes you have to find a different way to contribute--creating plays rather than playing the game--but he found that way and put a lot into it.
Helen Keller is another one who inspires me a lot. Look at the obstacles she had to overcome. But she did and became a writer, a world traveler, an inspiration for many.
I would like to find that strength and courage in me and then use it. I think we all have it--we just need to find it and put it to work. It doesn't have to be anything that brings fame, it just has to be us doing the best we can with what we have to work with.
I hope more of you will think of something/someone to post about on this thread.