I love to hear people who come from struggles and reach unimaginable goals for themselves. I love to watch someone ordinary become something extraordinary. Stories of hard work, in any capacity tug at my heart strings. I’m a talk show host junkie (you think this has anything to do with why Army Wife Talk Radio “found” me?) so it’s very entertaining and inspiring to me to see someone like Oprah and her amazing story of going from nothing to “Oprah” or Ellen going from being a small stage comedian to the large national stage that she entertains today. These stories and these lives are things I pull from when I need some umphh to go on in my professional life. I research how they handled struggles and I listen carefully for tidbits of greatness I can pull from them to build strength to keep going and doing what I want to do.
Don’t we all do this? Take the Olympics for example. As the typical person watched Gabby or Michael win their gold your inner spirit couldn’t help but become ignited. The mere mention of their name or the sight of their face said CHAMPION to you. You knew they didn’t get there just by waking up one morning and sitting on the couch eating potato chips. It was inspiring – hard work and determination.
All of these examples are big time though, they’re celebrities. I don’t always pull from such high profile cases and I bet you don’t either.
One of my hardest goals to conquer is fitness. It’s my nemesis because food is my love. I challenge myself constantly to get to the gym at least three days a week and to get ten miles in some way, somehow. Now I’ve been doing this for quite some time (with the exception of summertime when I had kids at home) and as long as I actually make it to the gym I seem to do just fine. I have to get past that first mental struggle and get my happy butt there.
Admittedly, part of what gets me to the gym is my inspiration. I have never really met my inspiration. He’s a very muscular medium height middle aged bald black man. He can jump rope like there is no tomorrow. He is at the gym EVERY day without fail. He sings along to his songs on his ipod as he lifts weights and you can even see that his music speeds him up and slows him down when he’s doing cardio. It makes me smile. He challenges himself every day even though, I believe, he has no reason to because he probably doesn’t have an ounce of fat to lose. He smiles at everyone in the gym. Helping them if they need help and welcoming anyone to a playful battle.
When I’m running on the treadmill – yes all 200 lbs of me – and I think I can’t do it I ask myself what he would do? What would he say if I quit? He wouldn’t quit. Neither should I. So I focus, and I finish.
One time he gave me a thumbs up. I didn’t quite know what to do. I wondered if he realized I had been staring at him for the last two years and finally thought well, I’ll call her out and let her know I know she’s there. He didn’t know that really he just inspired me more. Now I feel like he knows that I’m there or not and find myself not wanting to let my workout partner down by not showing up to the gym.
Today he wore a shirt that said “It’s YOU vs. YOU”. It made me smile. How true is that?
The point is, he has no idea that he’s my inspiration. Absolutely none. And you have no idea that you are someone’s inspiration. You have no idea what you do, what you write, or what you say might be inspiring for someone. Do you think Ellen knows that by her dancing every day on her show that she inspires me to download songs and dance with my children while we make dinner at night? Do you think that Gabby knows that by watching her that my five year old now wants to do gymnastics? Do you think Oprah is aware that I wait for her daily quote on Twitter to see what words of wisdom she imparts for the day? Doubtful. And I doubt that my very muscular medium height middle aged bald black man knows that he is the reason that I don’t stop trying to reach my fitness goal. They’re all just being them. Doing what they love. So – go, be, do and do it with gusto. In all that you do today know that someone is watching and someone is learning and YOU are an inspiration.