Thus who do I see as inspirational? People who have a lot to overcome..people who deal with life's obstacles everyday. People who don't own a $5000 tri bike but kick the ass of those who do. (My friends Greg and Doug)
For weight loss I have New Jersey Jen who just had a write up in October's Health Magazine. She lost over 100 lbs and turned herself into a runner. Jen is also a wife, mother and documentary filmmaker. Trying everyday to juggle her weight, training and family. You can see her story on her blog here seejenroerun.blogspot.com/ .
|Jen's picture in Health Magazine|
|Making the big time|
My wife's cousin Maureen also took it upon herself to take care of herself and become healthier even while raising a family. And now my wife and her friend Amity are making me look like a slacker by working out everyday rain or shine and finding ways to get workouts in, even if it means my four year old has to pace them on her bike as they run.
I have all of these wonderful examples of perseverance, overcoming odds and keeping a smile on your face no matter what challenges rear their ugly heads. However, the role models that I derive most of my inspiration from and the one closest to me are my parents.
My father is an immigrant from Denmark who came to this country with his family when he was a child. He served in the Army during Viet Nam and after getting out of the service became a carpenter and has had his own business from that point on. My mother and him raised four children who all got their college degrees and I think became pretty good human beings This despite my mother having a stroke almost 20 years ago at the age of 44, when I was 25 my brother was 23 and my younger brother and sister were in their early teens. The stroke left her in a wheel chair, unable to communicate very well with those outside the family and with very painful issues with her extremities. My father would carry her up and down the stairs of their bi-level house by himself. Obviously the event was physically, emotionally and financially devastating. Even with this horrific event my mom and dad never complained but looked at the next challenge in life. They got my younger siblings through high school and then through college. Then 6 years ago my mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer and given only a few months to live. Again..they looked at the challenge and how to overcome it. Only 3 months later my brother Michael was killed by a drunk driver. These events left me in a shell. I honestly don't know how Mom and Dad handled it. However, my Mom and Dad were able to keep moving forward. Mom is still around..still fighting cancer..even through many trips to the ICU..and surgeries and chemo. And Dad is still right there with Mom..as well as taking care of the people in his town that he was elected a trustee of.
I honestly cannot think of two more inspirational people when it comes to dealing with what life throws at you and not complaining about whether the universe is fair or not. They are also two of the friendliest people you would meet and my dad is the first person to help a stranger in need. This is why I have zero tolerance for people who cannot say "good morning" or "on your left". I learned common decency and respect from my parents and they are still firm believers in it after all that they have been through.
|Dad, Mom,Kristine,me and my daughter after Racine 70.3 last year|
Thus the long and short of it is that I just need to look at friends and family for my inspiration and how to act. I think I am also more grounded when I look at their examples. If you get your inspiration from pro triathletes, celebrities or others you do not know then more power to you.. Different strokes for different folks.
Who do you get your inspiration from?