Besides being one of the best celebrity cameo appearances in any movie, this clip gives a glimpse into why I find Lance Armstrong to be a great inspiration. All the divorce/girlfriend/Us Weekly BS aside, you have to be a cold-hearted SOB to not find Lance's story to be inspirational. The man was literally lying on his death bed, his body wracked with cancer. He almost literally rose from the dead to the pinnacle of his sport, winning the Tour de France seven times. In the meantime, he managed to wage a personal, and global assault on cancer, raising more than $9,000,000 for cancer research and prevention. It is these kind attributes that I would love to emulate in my own life.
But I find a lot of inspiration in my life and on a few of the blogs I follow. I have already named my mom and my wife in previous blogs, but I would like to take a moment to recognize a few more.
Mira (friend and blog follower)
In the past year, Mira has been faced with tremendous obstacles in her personal and professional life, and like any of us Mira has had some extremely difficult days. She has faced the kind of things that would have sent me to the fridge 10 times a day, but instead Mira chose to deal with her problems in some wonderfully constructive ways. Mira writes one of the best blogs I have ever read. If I was the kind of guy that cried (and I do regularly), her wisdom while facing such daunting perils would have me in tears (and usually they do). Mira is not only an excellent writer, she is one hell of an athlete. Since being faced with these personal demons, she has completed a half marathon, a triathlon, and captained a 175 mile bike ride for MS. Her grace, perseverance, and determination are a daily inspiration to me.
Dan Malinski (a.k.a. cubicle dad)
Dan read a post about running the Chicago marathon on the Chicago Now website, and from that post has ventured into a life changing program for himself and his family. Dan, like me, was overweight. He also had a family history of heart disease, and with a wife and 2 kids at home, he decided it was high time to start taking better care of himself. With the help of Dave Wallach, http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/pace-of-chicago/, and Coach Jennifer Harrison, Dan has been working towards running in the Chicago Marathon 2010. The guy has lost almost 70 lbs in 23 weeks, and in his spare time writes a great blog about his journey, http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/cubicle-dad/. Dan is a tremendous inspiration as an athlete and a blogger.
Elden Nelson (a.k.a. Fat Cyclist, or just Fatty, my muse)
What started out as being a simple blog, http://www.fatcyclist.com/, about a fat guy getting back into cycling, has exploded over the last 5-plus years into an international sensation, and one of the biggest contributors to the LiveStrong Foundation, ever. Elden's wife, Susan, battled cancer on and off for many years. Elden took the fight to the streets (and trails, and mountains, and seas), and began a multitude of rides, events, and contests to support cancer research and treatment. Sadly, Susan lost her battle with cancer, but Fatty fights on. And in doing so writes one of funniest blogs, or anything, that I have ever read. And I am not the only guy who thinks so. Fatty has won the best sports blog three years in a row (he is now a self-proclaimed hall of famer); the guy takes self-flagellation to a whole new level. When I am writing my blog, I try to, as much as possible, channel Fatty. If I can be half as funny as him, I think I am doing alright. Oh yeah, and the guy rides a bike like it's his job (it's not, but he does ride to work like every day).
This is a very short list of my sources of inspiration. I find inspiration all the time, on the radio or tv, walking down the street, or just thumbing through the internet. These inspirations are a driving force for me to get out of bed six days a week and get my butt moving. I think about these people when I am debating giving up on a run or a wind-laden bike ride. My life is not filled nearly as much as with obstacles and difficulties, and if these people can get out and get moving, so can I.
I am going to stop before I get too preachy, but I want to assure anybody who is reading this, while I may not have said it in this post, you are all an inspiration to me in one way or another.