I’ve always found personal inspiration from appreciating the fact that I can run and exercise, and reminded myself to feel grateful that I am physically capable of doing the things that bring me so much joy, energy, and self-confidence. (picture source)
Hearing stories of those who have overcome enormous obstacles to find that same sense of joy, energy, and self-confidence takes my personal inspiration to the next level. Recently, I’ve seen many examples of people accomplishing impressive feats by any standard … and then I’ve been blown away upon realizing that these same people have overcome some major physical obstacles to get where they are. I hope you’re inspired by these seven awesome stories, too!
- Hailey running the Chicago Marathon: While getting my MBA, I decided that I wanted to combine two of my passions – running, and giving back to the community. To do so, I founded the Kellogg 5K for the Kids, which to this day is one of the things I’m most proud of – we managed to raise enough money to send four children with cancer to the absolutely phenomenal One Step Camp. While planning, I got the opportunity to not only meet current campers (like those in the picture below), but also former campers like Hailey, who is an accomplished triathlete and runner, despite being an above-the-knee amputee. Hailey has one of the most positive attitudes of anyone I’ve ever met, and she’s the perfect example of someone who takes what life has given her and makes the absolute most of it. Last weekend, she completed the Chicago Marathon with a smile on her face and a love for sharing her message. I encourage you to watch this awesome video of Hailey before the marathon. (picture source, via Hailey’s facebook page) <– that link has tons of other inspiring photos, too!
- MS Fitness Challenge: Yesterday I got a random tweet from the founder of the MS Fitness Challenge, and since I checked it out, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. The idea of using fitness and nutrition to empower and heal people with debilitating Multiple Sclerosis is so inspiring to me, and I’m determined to help out with the Challenge sometime in the future. I hope you’ll enjoy the video as much as I did. (picture source)
- The Last (official) Ironman Finisher: Amanda from RunToTheFinish had the amazing opportunity to go to Kona to observe the Ironman, and she wrote about many stories, but one I loved the most was this post. This 78-year old woman finished Ironman within the 17-hour cutoff time!!!
- The First (unofficial) Ironman Finisher: Amanda writes about this one in the same post, so if you didn’t click on the link before, check it out now to see who was the first person to come in after the 17-hour cutoff time, and all that she has been through. I literally got goosebumps from thinking about those two amazing ladies.
- Armless body-builder competes in fitness competitions: This mom of two uses her feet to drive, open doors, cook, and perform all kinds of day-to-day tasks that many of us take for granted. But just surviving and taking care of her sons wasn’t enough for Barbie Thomas … she decided to begin competing in fitness competitions!! Most able-bodied people would balk at this fitness routine, even before realizing that Barbie has no arms! (picture source)
- Teenager’s wish for a trainer: When asked for their one wish, most kids would choose a material item or a trip, but 18-year-old leukemia survivor Brian Lau chose a trainer, because he knows that working out makes him feel better physically and mentally. His trainer says “it’s doing nothing but making him better and healthier and increasing his energy levels and increasing pride and self-respect.” A benefit that I believe applies to all of us, too. Kudos to Brian for being so mature and ambitious!
- YOU! So many of you are out there accomplishing incredible feats and changing your lives, and it honestly inspires me every single day. From blogger friends who are finishing their first half marathons (Amy and Jillienne), finding a love of fitness (another Amy), setting PRs (Cori, Robert, and Michael), competing in fitness competitions (Heather and Laura), and being smart about recovering from injuries (Sara, Davida, and another Cori), running through pregnancy (Jen) … to those of you who have emailed me to tell me about your fitness, nutrition, and health accomplishments, CONGRATULATIONS!!! You are doing amazing things for your own health, and are inspiring others as you do. Keep up the good work! (picture source)
So tell me in the comments … Who (or what) has inspired you lately? Have you done anything inspirational that I missed? Feel free to link back to your recent fitness accomplishments!