Friday, March 21, 2014

Finding Inspiration

I am sitting here writing, for the first time in a very long time, in a hotel room killing some time waiting for packet pickup for my first race of the 2014 season and I have started thinking about inspiration.

One of the main reasons I started to write this blog was to help inspire others to want a better life. I say better because it isn't all about eating right and exercising, but instead many times it is a combination of many things in your life that equal up to something greater.

The last year has been difficult, as I have written, but really on the grand scheme of things it hasn't really been a bad year. I can only turn on the news or talk to my friends to find stories that make my issues sound like nothing. One of the reason I haven't written lately is that I don't want to come off like I am whining about minor crap when many of you reading this might have some really serious stuff going on in your life.

The real problem is that I lost my inspiration over the last year. This comes from someone who by most standards is always the glass half full kind of guy. Every time I have felt like I had turned a corner then something would knock me down again, and even a few times the idea of quitting creeped into my mind. I really thought that notion left me the day my Dad died, but over time it has tried to rebuild itself.

Then I thought back to the days before I started living this kind of lifestyle. Those were the days that I never felt bad, but I didn't know what really feeling good meant. I didn't know that out of some pain that your body says thank you by letting you know what good can feel like. I didn't know then that my body and mind were going to welcome long workouts like a fat kid loves ice cream. I have been so wrapped up in myself that I didn't realize how bad I needed inspiration.

Finding inspiration can be one of the easiest and hardest things to find.  As this year has gone on I have found it harder and harder to find inspiration. Since I started training for my first triathlon 8 years ago this last year has been the toughest, and that includes when I was 50 lbs heavier! I think that I was so used to just doing the training, and my body accepting whatever I threw at it. Then one day my body quit accepting what I wanted it to do. Then it was like my mind and body were at war with one another.

The real funny thing is that I can remember my Dad saying for years that he never felt good, and I never could understand how someone could never remember feeling good. Then I wondered if he was maybe having the same reaction from the heart drugs that I have gone through this year. Who knows if that is right, or not, or if I would have ever known that I even felt bad without changing my lifestyle.

Inspiration is a drug that for me comes in many forms:

It sometimes is in the form of my wife and girls just hanging around the house being loud.

It sometimes is in the form of my Friday men's bible study group that I am always glad I choose over sleeping or going to workout.

It sometimes is in the form of a song that comes on the radio that completely changes my day.

It sometimes it is in the form of hearing about a person that after reading about your story goes to get checked out because he wants to be there for his grandkids.

It sometimes is in the form of a good book about an old runner.

It sometimes is in the form of dinner with friends.

The point is that inspiration is always there and much like faith you just have to be open to it. So keep your eyes open and find what inspires you.

I have no idea what tomorrow will bring with my race. I have been feeling better and better on my workouts, but I have still been hitting that wall. I wish I could say that I haven't missed any of my workouts the last few months, but it has been hard to hit them all. So that means tomorrow could involve plenty of pain.

What I do know is that tomorrow I will be chasing inspiration and at some point it will find me, because it always seems to be there when the fight gets the roughest. Have a great weekend and it's great to be back with you!

Here is our mile marker pole. Susan will be doing the blue loop and I will be doing the white loop and then the blue loop.
Susan checking out the course.
Trail Marker Signs
Another one.
Finally my favorite. This sign proves that tomorrow will be interesting!


P.S. Let me know what you find inspiring!