Saturday, September 25, 2010

Inspiration - Another take


There has been quite a few posts going around about inspiration the last few days.  It's funny, because I've been thinking about inspiration a lot too.

So here's my take.  It's not specific to how training is currently going for us.  It's not specific to how much pizza we ate last week or how many work-outs we blew off.  Sure, these things matter - obviously the more pizza we avoid and the less workouts we miss, the better.  But these are universal things when it comes to good health. 

I truly believe that those have us who have found their way to endurance sports are blessed or lucky or whatever word you most feel comfortable with.  I don't mean this in an elitist way.  But unlike other athletic pursuits, it seems that we as "group" tend to view our involvement in endurance sports more as a lifestyle than an activity.  And I've thought about endurance sports as "lifestyle" from every angle I can think of.  I've taken it apart and put it back together again.  I've stress tested it and I've played devils advocate with it.

And you know what?  I can't find anything wrong with it.  Granted, like all things in life, you need balance.  I hope no one is choosing a new bike over a mortgage payment or alienating family and friends just to get in some extra miles.  But if you get the mix right (including taking care of your body), endurance sports is completely positive sum equation.

I would be remiss in saying that we are the only ones who have found the "secret".  I know plenty of alpine climbers (as an example) who are as dedicated to their lifestyle as we ours.  But then again, I can think of at least 3 people who follow my blog that are outdoor enthusiasts in general.  Hell, it's where I come from.  So despite the specific passion, there is no doubt that we are kindred spirits with the other "lifestyle" people.

All of you are an inspiration every day.  I don't care if you rode a century, ran an ultra-marathon, or sat on the couch and ate a gallon of ice cream today - I'm in awe.  And if you DID happen to sit on the couch eating ice cream today, I have complete faith that you'll be off the couch tomorrow.   Because I believe in us.  And I don't measure the journey we are taking together in days or even weeks.  I'm hoping it ends up being years.

My guess is that only a small number of us where natural born athletes with amazing V02 Max numbers and a musculature that develops effortlessly.  I know that I wasn't born an athlete, that's for sure.  But who cares?  Ordinary people with families, jobs and other commitments that still find time to do extraordinary things are way more inspiring.  And there's not one blog I've read who's author isn't doing extraordinary things all the time.  One's ability, experience, speed, fitness and everything else related to "performance" is secondary.  The only benchmarks that matter are the ones that you've committed yourself to.  And if you weren't committed you probably wouldn't bother with a blog.  That's what makes this community so authentic.  

Authentic and inspiring.  Thank you for this.

22 comments:

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Right back at you Patrick. The beauty of it is that, unless you are completely gung-ho, taking advantage of all the other pursuits makes us better athletes and people.

TRI-james said...

Preaching to the choir, I mean blogging to the community, brother.

We are extra ordinary – we are living life.

Johann said...

Thanks for this post, truly inspiring. Dedicated to the lifestyle, I like that!

Caratunk Girl said...

Nice..I think it is pretty awesome how this community has pulled together and lifts each other up when needed.

RockStarTri said...

The motto of one of the groups I train with is "The beauty is in the balance." Nice post.

ajh said...

I like this post. I like to think we're inspirational by example even in small ways.

Kathleen said...

I was just thinking yesterday about what blogging has added to my life. Support, friendships and inspiration.

Mike said...

Nice post. Something inspirational happened to me totally unexpectedly while volunteering at IM Branson 70.3. I was doing crowd control and saw each and every bike leave the area to head out. I had the following thoughts:

Pros = sheer awe (super fast,in great shape and in a totally different world)
FOP AGers = seriously thought about quitting doing tris since I will never be there.
MOP AGers = changed back to, these people look like my level of fitness and if they can do it, I can too.
BOP AGers = very inspiring
DNF the swim = sad (3 bikes left in T1 when we cleaned up)

Crazy sport :-)

skierz said...

awesome post! If it as not for all the people around me this sport would be a whole lot different. every single person I encounter is an inspiration to myself to a new level and to push myself harder than yesterday! Great post, thank you!

P said...

*like* Thanks for putting my thoughts into words!

Diana Tries-A-Tri! said...

I love this post Patrick! Last night I was drinking a martini, telling my friend about the benefits of compression tights and planning my workout ... I hope that's dedication to the lifestyle!

misszippy said...

Love this post. So true...it is a lifestyle and when in balance, a really great one at that. We are fortunate to have found our passion in life.

Jennifer said...

What James said- and everybody else. Living Life, my mantra. Cheers! (from me, a mostly dedicated enthusiast who loves ice cream and pizza and who will probably spend the evening watching the new Sharktopus movie on SyFy) Yay!

Chris K said...

I really enjoy your insights Patrick. This is particularly a great post.

lindsay said...

cliche... but great post! i definitely find myself motivated/inspired by all my blog friends with all your achievements - daily and in racing!

DRog said...

Great post
Agree with Mike above

I had the same exact experience while Volunteering at IMWI this yewar...the back of pack AG were totally inspiring, in the BIGGEST WAY!!

-Derek

valen said...

great post

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

This is just an awesome post! Thank you for it!

Cynthia O'H said...

Awesome post. We do this for ourselves; other athletes do it for themselves and for the team. I think that, because we only have ourselves to depend on, we put that much more into it.

The Green Girl said...

Like everyone else, I enjoyed reading this introspective post.

I'm going to have to say that I don't feel like I am as 'hardcore' as the runners/endurance athletes I know. In talking to others and reading their blogs, I realize working out is priority number one in their lives.

I'd be lying if I said running was my highest priority in life. I've talked to a few people who said they would never miss/postpone a run because of work. I have responsibilities at work and sometimes I have to work late and there are times when I have to work weekends. I'm sure I wouldn't get fired for saying 'no' but I don't think the people I report to or work with would take too kindly to me doing that. I guess my career is more important than my running.

And my family is also more important. Like this weekend, my niece came to visit so I had to miss my 19 miler. When I mentioned this to some runners, they said commented that they reserve their weekends for running and would never miss a long run.

I guess it all boils down to the fact that I love running but it's not my life.

Glenn Jones said...

Great post Patrick. It really puts things in perspective. I know I'll never get an age group award (unless I choose a race with less than 3 people in my age group), but it's the lifestyle that keeps me coming back....

TRI714 said...

good words.

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