For the past month or so, I’ve been doing my Best Body Bootcamp recaps on things that happened the previous week. But today, I want to write about something that happened just this past Monday.
My husband and I often go to the gym together, but we don’t really workout together. For some reason, we got on the pattern where he does cardio on my strength training days, and vice versa. On Monday night, we went to the gym and I hopped on the treadmill, hoping to push myself a little bit and see if I could go three miles instead of my usual two (I have run three miles before, but it’s been awhile, and I usually focus on my pace, not distance). Everything seemed like it was going well, but around minute 15, I started getting horrible side stitches. I rarely have them — I usually have issues with my shins — so I was surprised and irritated. I managed to hang on for another 15 minutes and promptly stopped after 30 minutes.
As Erik and I walked out to the car, I complained about how badly I did.
“My run was so awful!” I said.
Just then, a woman walking in front of us turned around and said, “You know, you inspired me to run tonight.”
“Really?” I replied.
“I was watching Biggest Loser and then I saw you running,” she said. “So then I decided that I should run too! You inspired me.”
“Thank you!” I said, a little embarrassed but mostly confused. Me? Inspiration? With fitness? Really?
I was confused because I don’t consider myself very athletic. I can’t run very fast (about a 14 minute mile right now) and I’m not very strong either. I’m overweight, and I constantly have to take breaks. I breathe heavily and run awkwardly (at least, I think so). I never would have consider myself the kind of person who could inspire someone to run.
I have been called inspirational before, because of how I manage my diabetes. I remember the first time someone said I was inspirational, and I remember thinking that it was a little bit funny and a little bit strange. But I realized that the people who are inspirational in the diabetes community aren’t the ones who are perfect. They aren’t the ones who always eat right, or have the perfect blood sugars, or never mess up. They are the ones who have a positive attitude and no matter what, they are trying to be healthier and they are trying to be better. Even when they mess up, they get up and try again.
Then I thought about the show that both this woman and I were watching: The Biggest Loser. I thought about how the people on this show aren’t particularly fast or strong, and they are definitely overweight, but most of us would still consider them inspirational. The contestants are inspirational because against the odds and against expectations, they are trying to be healthier and they are trying to be better.
I think that’s what truly makes someone inspirational. Not necessarily what they have accomplished, but what they are trying to accomplish. Even when someone doesn’t succeed in their goal, the fact they even tried is incredible and worthy of admiration. So many of us don’t even bother reaching for our dreams because we’re afraid. Those who try are the real heroes.
So while I might not feel very inspirational most of the time, I am trying. And I fully believe that trying counts for a lot.
Who do you find inspirational?