Inspiration

inspireIn case you didn’t already know this about me, I love being inspired, motivated, and encouraged. Inspiration can come from a myriad of sources: a line from a song, a quote, a meme, a commercial or advertisement, someone’s own story, nature, a passage of Scripture, even a plant or two. Sometimes the inspiration can feel a little forced or cheesy, but inspiration is deeply personal and I will not be ashamed of that which stirs up my drive and passion.

I’ve received many compliments on my progress with weight loss, improving my health and my recent successes as a powerlifter. While I appreciate each compliment, I don’t want to give anyone the false impression that this has been an easy journey or that I have arrived at my destination. I am not perfect (but don’t tell my husband!). As much as there is tremendous joy in this journey, there has been, and will also continue to be, many moments of frustration, tears, anger, impatience, self-pity, doubt, procrastination, and…you get the idea, right? Wonder Woman may be my favourite superhero, but she is a fictional character. No matter how much I dress up to look like her, I can never be Wonder Woman! I am quite simply an average woman.

As I am, with my flaws and imperfections, I struggle. Within the struggle comes the desire to be more, to be better, to make it through the struggle refined like gold in the fire. This is why I cling to the inspirational.

That cheesy inspirational meme might make me laugh, but it will also stoke the fire within me. It whispers, “You are more!”

Listening to someone’s story may make me bawl like a baby, but those tears make my heart soft to the struggles others face and remind me that I am not alone.

When I go for a run and the going is tough enough to make me want to quit, the right song can push me through those rough spots and put a bounce in my step that I didn’t know I could possibly have. It may seem weird to some, but I can totally listen to the same song over and over again for an entire run. Titanium once powered me through a 7 kilometre run, and I never once got tired of listening to the same song!

Sometimes a little reverse psychology works in my favour, too. While I do really enjoy hearing Michael’s encouragement and praise in the gym, there are times when he motivates me by essentially telling me it is okay to not do too much. The unspoken threat of dropping weight or reps is also highly motivating, because I do not want to fail, even if the failure is only in my own mind.

So where am I going with this? Good question!

I guess I just want to keep it real. My life looks pretty good right now, but I am not perfect. I don’t always have my act all together.

Today I feel restless and frustrated. I’ve done some housework, but I have no pressing things to take care of today. There are plenty of things that I would quite enjoy doing for myself, for others, for fun, yet most of those things involve sitting. I am not supposed to sit very much. In fact, sitting makes my hip hurt quite significantly and makes my toe go numb. There also seems to be some correlation between how much I sit during the day and how much pain/numbness I experience when I go to bed and the resulting difficulty in sleeping. I am squirming as I type this blog post, because I am sitting and have been sitting for at least 20 minutes as I try to put my scattered thoughts into order. My daughter walked by and told me to get off the couch! She’s right. I need to get off the couch, but I don’t want to! Is it too much to ask that I can take a day to sit? I can have a productive day sitting. Right?

My impatience and frustration is showing. I want this disc issue resolved and I want it now. It’s minor, I know, but it sucks. I’m excited for a little road trip on Saturday, but the thought of sitting in the car for 2 hours makes me want to cry.

I am fairly disciplined with what I eat, but that doesn’t mean that there are never days when I want to throw all that discipline out the window. Some things do get easier. While I used to drink 4 or 5 Diet Cokes a day, I couldn’t even drink more than a sip or two of any pop now. I can’t even drink sweetened iced tea! I have lost any desire for those, but sometimes I want to rebel against the healthy food and the carefully managed macros.

Am I making sense? Or is my squirming affecting my thought process, too?

It’s okay to be inspired by the changes you’ve seen me make in my life, but don’t ever assume that every day isn’t filled with conscious decisions to keep making the better choice. Sometimes I make the best choice, while other times I fall flat on my face after making the wrong choice. This is the struggle. This is life. Find what inspires and motivates and encourages you, then run with it! Inspiration can shine light on a dark situation. It can shake the cobwebs out of dusty dreams. Inspiration reminds us that we were created with purpose, and it fuels our passion. Inspiration whispers, “I believe in you!” and shouts, “I knew you could do it!” It is a warm embrace when you feel alone, a hand to hold as you walk through the darkness, and a beacon of light that guides you through the storm. Inspiration doesn’t care if you’re in a funk…it pokes its’ nose into your business and isn’t afraid to give you a swift kick!

When people say that I inspire them, I don’t know how to respond. I don’t feel like an inspiration. What’s so inspiring about me? I guess I can’t answer that question, because I’m not on the other side of my own story. If I do inspire you, I may not understand it but I can appreciate the fact that you are inspired. Just don’t let that inspiration become nothing more than a feel good story! Take that inspiration and run with it. Your story doesn’t need to resemble mine. Write your own story; it will be a good one!

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