Amateur Disclaimer: This is my blog. I am no expert in anything, I have no credentials to speak of. Anything that I write on my blog is primarily my expression of my experiences and opinions. Please don’t take this, or anything you read on the internet as official expertise. This post is dedicated to all those who have ever chased their dreams and done everything in their power to achieve those dreams. I have met a lot of people in my life and witnessed the pursuits and passions of those people. I think about what drives people to do what they do. Some people seem to do it naturally, while others have overcome tremendous challenges. Things haven’t always been great. In fact, sometimes, things just downright sucked. Although, you probably can’t tell how great things are unless you’ve already experienced some tremendous challenges in your life. It’s easy to get sucked in, and live in that closed-in “dwelling”, especially if you’ve never seen the light of day to begin with. It’s a hard climb out of that groove, and it’s easy to get knocked right back in. There’s a sort of comfort in being sad, a familiarity with those feelings are in themselves comforting even though they hurt. An accomplishment of learned helplessness, leaving you completely paralyzed and numb. Why does everything have to suck so bad? Why does all this shit have to happen to me? Easy questions to convince yourself that these experiences are unique to just you and that they are terminal. Who are these people where everything just seems to fall in place and everything is just hunky dory for them? The thing is, a lot of them actually came from deeper, darker places once upon a time. A lot of them have gone BACK to deeper, darker places, reinforcing that clinging to desperation and dwelling. But they dug themselves out. Some came out quickly, some took 20 years. Some floated along to the comfort of drugs until they reached absolute bottom. Sometimes, that’s what it takes. Some found people; some found faith, belief, religion. There is a world of light out there — and you know it. It’s easier to deny it. It’s hard to muster the courage to do what it takes to succeed, especially if you don’t have the courage to fuck up. Sometimes it’s easier to just sabotage yourself and relinquish any sense of accountability to yourself. But is that what you really want? For some force to put you on autopilot, for you to just bounce around, not knowing, not caring where you’ll end up? Look up at the stars. They’ve been there a long time. Just like successful people. They’ve been there a long time too. What makes them successful? What gives them that burning fire, that makes them give it everything they’ve got, because it means that much to them?
I have been a competitive runner for over 30 years. I have succeeded on many levels, and I have failed, many times. With running, I learned a lot about myself, desire, determination, discipline, always giving it your best in every race, yet walking away confident that you can do even better the next time. Having the faith in your preparation and your fight. I am most inspired by individual athletes, such as runners, boxers, tennis players. I am also inspired by artists, performers, musicians, poets, writers, journalists. I am inspired by anyone who pursues their passions to the fullest, and follows through, start-to-finish.
I think about the people I admire, and the people I’ve come to know through various situations or experiences. I’ve seen them struggle. I’ve seen them succeed. I’ve seen them start with absolutely nothing and become everything they desired to be. There is inspiration everywhere. Whether it’s outstanding feats or shared expressions of art, it is everywhere. Learn to see the desire, hard work and passion behind those feats, and you will come to respect them and admire them.
I see Stan Wawrinka winning his first Major Title at the Australian Open this year, Genie Bouchard at 19 years old making it to the Final in the Women’s Draw. I see Mary Cain, Galen Rupp, Jordan Hasay, Dathan Ritzenhein running for one of my earliest running heroes Alberto Salazar. I see music artists growing and gaining exposure, hearing themselves on the radio for the first time, touring for the first time. I see radio hosts through their hard work and relentless research creating opportunities for themselves in the world of radio show broadcasting, one in particular of note I’ve discovered recently, Brody Ramone (http://www.askcbi.org/?p=4085). I see various bloggers writing incredible snippets of poems and short stories touching the deepest feelings and fears that some can imagine (http://carolinedupuyheerwagen.tumblr.com/).
My running has become quite challenging the past couple of years as I get older yet still try to train as if I’m in my 20s. This past Fall, I was running at 5:30 in the morning, still dark out, with a bright full moon nearly directly over me, and I kept thinking, wow, the moon, all the stars in the sky, been here forever, and I thought “Today, I’m still here”. I won’t be here forever, but I sure as fuck am going to make it count.
I am including some links to works of various people and videos of inspiring moments.