Okay I am using the title a little facetiously as it isn’t the kind of thing you would usually find in my writing, but I do want to write about inspiration today.
My friends Maddie and Jill (aka Mumma Bear) are running their first marathon next week. It is pretty damn awesome! I went for a run with them on Saturday and got excited and inspired all over again.
Now that my ironman is completed, I have turned my attention back to marathon running and have set myself a few more aggressive goals to chase over the next twelve months. With that in mind, you might think that Eliud Kipchoge’s recent two hour marathon attempt would have been a powerful inspiration for me, but I am actually much more inspired by the efforts of Mumma Bear and Maddie.
Despite the cult of celebrity that has pervasively corrupted many of our values, professional athletes- like other celebrities- are no better as people than the rest of us. Don’t get me wrong, they’re amazing at what they do. But there is so little similarity between the environment that they work in and my own that I can’t really make useful comparisons. Thus it is hard to take too much inspiration from them.
Something that inspires me more is people like Mumma Bear and Maddie who set themselves really amazing goals and work incredibly hard to achieve them around work commitments and without all the assistance professional athletes receive. The actual distance or nature of the event is much less important than seeing how hard people are willing to work and how far they can come. I have been lucky enough to see countless examples of that in the last twelve months, especially through Solemates running group and Get Fit Tas. For example, my wife decided to complete an ironman triathlon last year when a year earlier she would have never thought it was possible. I was also privileged to be able to follow Kristy and Roadie’s progress towards their first marathon in January.
That’s why I never laugh or react negatively to people who set themselves big, challenging and scary goals or new year’s resolutions. I think it is fantastic. I know I have written previously that we should neither be afraid nor ashamed of failure, but it still takes courage to face that possibility and the reality of a lot of hard work and sacrifice. That is what I find inspiring. So to everyone that has shared their goals with me, thank you. You are a bigger part of what inspires me than any professional athlete.