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?