Monday, June 8, 2009
Who is your inspiration?
Yes, I'm a week late on recognizing National Running Day here in the U.S., but the date gave me some inspiration to blog over at History and Women on Wilma Rudolph. For those of you who don't know, Rudolph was afflicted with polio during childhood, which left her crippled and in a leg brace for much of her childhood. Despite that, at Rome in 1960, she became the first woman in history to win three gold medals in a single Olympics.
During the course of our lives, we often experience setbacks. Sometimes, try as we might, we just can't climb out of the hole we seem to have fallen into. Three years ago I suffered a recurring running injury, plantar fascitis. In spite of attempts to treat and rest that foot, it spiraled into additional injuries, eventually culminating in back pain and nerve impingement. There were times when I thought I'd hurt forever and that I'd never run again. Finally, an osteopath discovered that my right leg was 1/2" shorter than my left one, causing skeletal and muscular imbalances.
Long story short (no pun intended), during this time, I was always in search of inspiration. Something to lift me out of that dark abyss of chronic pain. I found it everywhere. In famous people like Wilma Rudolph. And in the people around me. Once last year, my back hurt so much I could hardly walk across Wal-Mart. I was feeling mighty sorry for myself and about to burst into tears when I saw a very elderly lady, moving at a fraction of my speed using a walker. Her back was stooped, her legs were bent. She smiled at the door greeter. She smiled at me. Suddenly, I didn’t feel so bad anymore. Getting around wasn’t easy for her, I could tell, but she didn’t let it drag her down.
So who is your inspiration? To get out of debt, to lose those pesky ten pounds, to get healthier, to write that next book. If you look beyond yourself, you'll find examples everywhere. Sometimes in unexpected places.