Who Inspires You?

Are there people you admire or look up to, who inspire you work hard to do your best–to be your best? Some people might be inspired by celebrities and their rock-hard bodies, but I am more inspired by everyday people. It means more to me to know that another busy working mom is getting up at o’dark-thirty to squeeze in a workout before she has to get her kids ready for school and get herself in to the office.

I am inspired by another unlikely candidate: an elderly man who lives a few neighborhoods over. I first encountered him this winter, during one of my pre-dawn runs, and I see him almost every morning when I run near where he must live. He is always dressed nicely in a button shirt and khakis, but I also noticed that he wears good athletic shoes! He is always friendly, returning my smile and wave no matter how sweaty I am.

(OK, he doesn’t have a pipe, but otherwise he does look like this!)

It really struck me that someone his age (probably retired) would be out so early (barely dawn) and so regularly (at least a few days a week). I started to make up his life story. In one scenario, he is out so early to get in his “daily constitutional” before he has to take care of his wife. In another scenario, he lives with one of his adult children and their children, and these walks are his only quiet time before the kids wake up and he becomes “grandpa.” No matter what his “real” story, I continue to be inspired by him when I see him out for his walk in the mornings (even in this heat!).

Do you make up life stories for random strangers? 

Who inspires you?

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8 Responses to Who Inspires You?

  1. FindingMyHappyPace says:

    oh gawwwdd, I love playing that game at the bar, When someone new sits at the bar counter I tell John their potential life story, and it's usually a snarky, silly, not possible life story. But that's um weird.. hahahaa.
    That's unique that you're inspired by him. I like his clipart!

  2. My mom is a great role model. She and I work out with a trainer twice a week and she is proud that she can go sleeveless at her age:) She is very involved in life, and generous with her time and money. She is young for her age and I hope to follow in her footsteps.

  3. Super Babe says:

    The old man reminded me of my uncle 🙁 He would wake up to run at 5 am… and his "story" was that he had to get up at that time to beat the heat!

    Ummh… who inspires me? Sadly, I think I'm inspired by role models whom I couldn't actually follow… celebrities with healthy bodies that have the time and the money to work out and have their food catered to them… I'm inspired by athletes who devote their time to working out…

    But I am one of those moms, like you said, who wakes up at 5:50 am so I can go for my run before getting the crazy day started! So… glad to know I inspire you, ha! 🙂 (Not this week though – DH is out of town so I was able to squeeze only 2 workouts by sneaking out of work early!)…

  4. I read your post just before I headed out running this morning. As soon as I started, I saw this older man walking down the street smoking. I totally started thinking of a story for him – although I didn't get too far, it's not something I usually do. I actually think he crushed his cigarette as soon as he saw me – maybe he was out walking to hide his smoking?

    So, no, I don't usually make up stories. I love yours though. 🙂

  5. Yum Yucky says:

    There's something about a older woman who speaks with patience and kindness to everyone she encounters. She filled with love! I want to be like that when I'm old and gray. Heck, I want to be like that now. Emmm, not that I'm a meanie, but you know what I mean. What I'm referring to comes with age and wisdom and grace. 🙂

  6. David H. says:

    In the first month I was running, I met an old guy in my neighborhood at the time who told me a story about how he ran track at the all-black high school in town. Long story short, it was very inspirational and from that day on I was running. Since I was just starting off and couldn't run for more than probably a quarter mile before walking, that was truly what I needed to take my running to a new level.

  7. There is this mid to older guy who walks like he might have had a stroke, or perhaps some very intense back surgery. Every day, rain snow or shine, I see him walk up two giant hills, and then back down them. he'll stop and take a break when he needs to, but he will power up these hills, in rain or 14 inches of snow. It is phenomenal.

    • Coco says:

      That is very inspiring! I know Dave H has the Twitter/Blog name, but stories like that really do make me appreciate running "because I can."

      Sent from my iPhone

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