I’m an inspiration junkie. I collect stories like most women collect shoes. Some are printed out and hang on the wall above my computer, others are filed away in a box, and most reside somewhere in that invisible file cabinet in my brain. Brian has a framed rendering of Robert E Lee, captioned, “The Loneliness of Command.” Sometimes, being a business owner or parent can feel lonely. It’s these stories that keep me company.
Take Sister Madonna Buder, the world record holding “Iron Nun,” who has completed over 350 triathlons, including 45 Iron Man distances…at age 84. Just to be clear, that’s a 2.4 mile swim, followed by 112 mile bike race, and finally a 26.2 mile run. A marathon is its own accomplishment, but GOOD LORD (really), this is impressive.
I feel like some nights I log 26 miles in my living room walking my baby around to get her settled, but then again I haven’t already completed a swim and bike race…in a spandex one-piece.
And then, there’s Noah Galloway, the Army Sergeant who lost an arm and a leg in combat on his second tour of duty in 2005. I saw him on this past season of Dancing with the Stars and cried every time he danced, seemingly unlimited in his capabilities. He’s a personal trainer who competes in Tough Mudder and Spartan events, with a mantra of “No Excuses.” When I’m feeling a dead end in my business, I think about how an able-bodied person would scale a wall in one of these events, let alone someone without a left arm or leg.
One of my new favorites is Kansas City’s own, Derek Mitchell. Weighing over 600 lbs and diagnosed with a non-cancerous tumor on his pituitary gland some 5 years ago, Mitchell decided to make a positive change to his health with a personal goal this year to complete a 5k race each month. Keeping to his word, he is inspiring others all over the country who have been flying him around to various cities to complete his 5k-a-month commitment. Mitchell has signed up to run the Honolulu Marathon this December and break the Guinness Book of World Records as the heaviest man to complete a marathon. Click here to help fund his efforts!
I’ve never met these 3, and I’m pretty sure they haven’t met each other. If they ever walked into a bar together, I’d be following. We’d all like to be in better shape, get off the “hamster wheel,” and regain control. But we also want to live our lives, and it’s easy to get caught up. We swear that tomorrow, we’ll be “good” and that the next diet will be “the one.” I get it. I’ve been there too. Reading these stories can have the effect of making you feel bad about your situation, like, “Man, look what they’re doing! I’m young, able-bodied, and am holding onto that baby weight…from 5 years ago, and I still can’t get my act together!” We all love an underdog and the triumph of victory is what we see on TV or in the papers. Meanwhile, all of them started out just like you. One step. One choice. One click. Insert end of your story here…