I was on the stepper last week when the Republican convention came on and I thought, “Oh crap! It’s election time already?” In 2008 I was, I daresay, a political junkie. I watched every debate, knew the finer points of each politician’s views on healthcare reform and could not tear myself away from the watching the train wreck that was Sarah Palin. It was an exciting, riveting political landscape and I ate it up. This election cycle? Not feeling it.
Until last night.
This week it was the Democrat‘s turn and while there were many powerful speeches the thing that stuck with me the most was the story about a woman in a little town down south who attended a meet-and-greet for then-Senator Barack Obama back in 2008. (If you’re wondering when I’m going to get to the fitness part, just stick with me here for a minute…) Anyway, it was pouring rain, the place was in the middle of nowhere, only about 20 people showed up and they weren’t really that interested. Then this one woman in the back started clapping her hands and sang, “Fired up! Ready to go!” At first everyone looked at her like she was crazy, but she proceeded anyway. “Are you fired up?” “Yes,” said the crowd. “Are you ready to go?” “Yes!” they began chanting back. And Obama was thinking, “This lady’s stealing my thunder.” But it was contagious and the momentum was lasting after the event.
What appealed to me was that one woman had the power to change the dynamic of the room. People underestimate their impact all the time. They think, “I’m just living my life, I’m no one important, what does it matter?” It matters. You matter.
One of the Fitness Cheerleader blogger challenge questions from last month was, “Who is your fitness inspiration?” For me, it’s not the pro-football players or the 6-time Olympians; they seem way out of my league. No, I’m inspired by regular people doing extraordinary things.
I’m inspired by watching people in wheelchairs cross the finish line at a Marathon. If they can overcome those obstacles, surely I should never take my legs for granted. I’m inspired seeing old people kickboxing at my gym or pics of a senior citizen more ripped than most 20 year old’s. Age is an excuse for many, but if he can be strong with gray hair, surely I can too. And I’m inspired by the woman at my gym with her brown hair in a ponytail. She is where I was 8 months ago physically. When I look at her face I see that determination that says, “Nothing is going to stop me from reaching my goal.”
Did these people know that I was watching them? Possibly. Did they know how much they impacted and inspired me? Probably not. One person can spark great things inside another. And maybe someone is watching you right now, choosing to run the extra mile when you want to quit, lifting the heavier weight even though it’s tough, eating the healthy food at an event instead of that cake, and though they may say nothing, perhaps they are inspired too.
So I’m “fired up and ready to go!” towards my fitness goals. I hope you are too.
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