Sources of Inspiration

Posted: December 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

I have discovered that my sources of inspiration have changed through the years. When I was younger it may have been a simple song like Sweet Home Alabama or simply chasing the elusive PR (personal record). But now they are so much more meaningful and powerful.

If you pay close attention there is an abundance of simple acts of kindness and generosity that can make the next challenging run seem so much easier. I was at a holiday gathering recently when I was introduced to one of the founders of the Massachusetts’ School of Professional Psychology. I was immediately taken by the contrast in her body needing a walker and the youthfulness in her eyes and her smile. I was reminded that, if I’m fortunate enough to live to be her age, I may face a similar plight of having my body fail me. I am also painfully aware that it doesn’t require living long to have something like that occur.

I left that gathering feeling so appreciative of my health and wellness. When Macie Jo was 14 months old she was at Children’s Hospital and I’ll never forget seeing her standing in her crib, still in a diaper, with numerous tubes hanging from her body. That contrast also provided a perspective that has inspired me to be more empathetic and appreciative. I have seen children that didn’t live long enough to take their first step. I have also seen the other end of the spectrum where someone has lived to nearly 100 and seemingly wasted his entire life because he were consumed by selfishness and mediocrity.

Consequently, I try not to look too far down the road or into the future. This is where my own running has become a source of inspiration for me. I don’t look too far into my future and in my running I don’t look too far down the road. I try to live in the moment in both life and running. I don’t think too much about how many miles I have remaining in a marathon nearly as much as I focus on my breathing, my running efficiency and the next step.

I also never take my ability to run, particularly as well as I do, for granted. When I lost my mom to leukemia the day before she turned 58 in 1996, I relied heavily on my running to weather the storm of grief. And when I spoke with her the very last time and promised her I would do something significant with my life, it was my running that allowed me to fulfill that commitment to her. I will be forever grateful to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, their amazing staff, and all the TNT runners in particular for their countless efforts to make such an amazing difference in the world and for allowing me to be a small part of their inspirational journey.

I am confident that, by paying close attention every moment that you’re given, you will recognize that the possibility of being inspired is just a moment away. I feel blessed to have weathered many storms of disappointment and failure and to have become far more appreciative, humbled, enlightened and inspired!

If you are reading this you are also likely a source of inspiration for me. Charity runners continue to be an incredible source of motivation and inspiration to me.

My hope is that you are also on a similar journey of discovering new sources of inspiration!

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