Inspiration

Posted: November 12, 2009 in Motivation

Inspiration – even the word itself seems to have an element of electricity to it.  Where does it come from?  How do we harness it?  When I am talking with runners and non-runners alike I am frequently asked where I draw my inspiration from.  I will hear close friends who know me well talk reverently about my waking up in the wee hours to “get my run in” before work or before catching a flight and wonder how I do it.  For others it is a question as to “why” I do it – which is fundamentally a very different thing.

What many do not understand is that for me these days, that dedication has become the easy part in training for multiple marathons only days apart.  My inspiration, my motivation came by way of a phone call from my wife sharing with me the news of our close friend’s challenge in battling cancer.  Up until that point my challenges revolved around how to shave another :10 to :15 off of my mile splits to get my marathon time down under 3:10:00 at Boston this year. 

I spoke with Dom last night for the first time since his surgery last week.  Dom, who is doing great in his recovery and the early stages of his rehabilitation – making laps around the 4th floor of the hospital – sounded fantastic.  His outlook, his attitude was truly infectious.  It made me sit a little straighter in my chair, he made me smile more, laugh louder.  In only a few moments on the phone he made me feel like a better friend, a better husband, a better son, and a better me.

I told Dom last night that he provided me with a reason to bounce out of bed each morning and hit the street or trail for my morning runs or to get to my strength training appointments with my personal trainer without hesitation.  A runner’s alarm clock can be both friend and foe – any morning runner will tell you this.  Some mornings the shriek makes you jump out of bed and hit the cool morning air with great energy and focus.  Other mornings that sound makes you question why in the world you had to be bitten by the bug – why aren’t you one of the “lucky ones” that can sleep in that extra hour and stay in bed with the sound or rain hitting the window outside.  For me these days that alarm is a gentle reminder that today is another day that I am fortunate to be alive.  I am grateful that I am able to enjoy the cool TX mornings this time of year.  I am grateful to see my breath in the air and hear the pounding of my soles on our neighborhood streets.  I am especially grateful that I am able to help a dear friend and hopefully inspire others to do the same. 

Dom’s motivation – he put it best last night, family.  He sees the faces of those that he loves most in the world and makes certain that he is doing everything he can to see them as much as he can as long as he can – and let them know they are loved.

It is a powerful thing inspiration.  No matter where you draw it from it can carry you to new heights.  There is a quote that I think about from time to time during difficult training runs attributed to the late Steve Prefontaine who said:

“I’m going to work so that it’s a pure guts race at the end, and if it is, I am the only one who can win it.”

I wish that Pre would have had the opportunity to meet my friend Dom – I think he would have found that he met his match.  Go Dom.

Dom and Family

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