Everyone is probably still dragging a bit after losing an hour to daylight savings time this weekend. I am home with two sick kids, having had a weird run of a bug for a few days myself. I missed out on enjoying this weekend’s amazing spring teaser weather. So this morning, I thought I’d start things right by sharing some sources of inspiration that have moved me recently.
I’ll start with the most important one. Honestly, I still get troubled with the word inspiration when people use it in reference to me or someone like myself. I’ve lived an easy and comfortable life, I’ve never faced any real adversity, all my health problems are terribly minor and self-imposed, and I’ve spent as much time resisting any change in life as the Fonz did avoiding saying the word WRONG. So I don’t share this journey (and I want to slap myself for using that cliche right there anyway) intending to inspire anyone. I just hope my own experience resonates with others who’ve grown just as frustrated and want to find a way out of this craziness.
So with that in mind, the first slice of inspiration comes under the heading of what I call
Now THAT’S Inspiring – Slice One
If this doesn’t get you at least a bit teary eyed on first viewing, then you may have to go to Oz and ask the Wizard to grant you a heart.
For a bit more detail on the video, here’s one of many articles on the web. Thanks to Cheryl Zwarkowski for posting this on facebook. I stalk Cheryl. She’s an amazing endurance athlete that did a triple badwater in 2012. She posts great stuff on FB, and encourages even us beginners. Speaking of which, here’s someone I’ve actually met and talked to at length.
Just Go For It – Slice Two
The second bit of inspiration comes under the category of people doing incredible things, just because they dream of doing it. Darren Miller is a world class athlete, with a current record in a feat most of humanity wouldn’t consider doing 1/10 of. He is on track to achieve something that,as of today, only one other person in the world has done. But when he walks down the street, he isn’t exactly recognized the way a professional ball player would be.
Darren is in New Zealand right now to complete the 6th of 7 steps to fulfill the Oceans Seven Challenge. Darren is from Pittsburgh, and among his charitable works is the 5k open water swim I did last year. I was the top individual fundraiser for the event, and as a result, earned a dinner with Darren. He and his lovely girlfriend Holly met me in State College in the winter, and I got to pick the brain of a very driven, focused, endurance athlete. What most stood out about the dinner for me, was that here was a guy at the top of the sport, talking to me with the respect of a peer, while my 5k open water time was so painfully slow, it wouldn’t have been a great 10k time. But as I continually find out, true elite athletes tend to be the most encouraging, and the most likely to treat the newbies’ fantasies as not only possible, but future certainties. That’s what makes people like Darren so inspiring. He doesn’t just have a career that says “look at me,” he encourages others to follow their dreams too, even if they look too big today. Most of us sell ourselves short, and then sell others short too. People who have done the big things look at others and see the possibilities.
Literally Change the World – Slice Three
Anyone who has read this blog more than once know that I am a huge fanboy/devotee/stealer-of-quotes of Joel Salatin. I think he is a great unifying figure in the real foods movement, and a great writer. But we need to get more people into the public consciousness that are allies in the movement, and have just as charismatic a media presence.
My nominee for the 2013 voice of real food that mainstream society may actually take time to listen to:
Ron Finley. This is exactly the kind of person that changes the world. He may use a bit more salty language than a priest, but the guy is absolutely doing the holiest of work. Jesus said “feed my sheep.” That’s what this man does, and he does it gangsta style.