We can find inspiration in the unlikeliest of places. Most especially when we are looking for it.
Whatever you are looking for, you usually find it.
If you are thinking about what a terrible week it’s going to be, it’s likely you’ll be right. If you think you know more than the person speaking to you, it’s nearly guaranteed you’ll learn nothing from that encounter.
How we intend and attend to our life is incredibly magnetic. All week I have been on the lookout for inspiration and I was not disappointed. What you look for will arrive.
I continued to ask myself throughout the week: what inspires me? What makes me perk up and take notice? After pondering it for several days one word came to mind: extremes.
I find extremes inspiring. Watching someone excel at a skill, sport or talent is inspiring. We all got a good booster shot of that with the Olympics a few weeks ago. We saw athletes at the top of their game. And also those at the top of their human game. Both thrilling to see.
Equally moving, though, is to see someone never give up the fight despite the outcome, despite the odds. To see someone power on against the strong current of adversity makes just about everyone take notice.
The extremes get our attention.
Over the holiday weekend, an event known as A Race for the Ages was hosted. It’s a multi-day event where the older you are, the more time you have to achieve your mileage goal. For example, the oldest runner, Dan Baglione, 85, was allotted 85 hours for his race and he started first. At 81 hours, the next adventurer started with, as you may have guessed, as many hours as he was old.
One of the participants was Stuart Gleman. He completed 110 miles at the age of 71. Impressive in its own right. More impressive than Stu’s accomplishment was Stu himself. For the last several years, through chemo and radiation he continued participating in ultras.
He told the race director before attending “It is important that I come.
I have friends who will be there, and I need to tell them that I love them.”
After the race, Stu drove home, was admitted into the ER and not long after, Stu died.
While unquestionably a sad end, it is an inspirational life, an inspiring man.
I shed a few tears reading the Facebook post about Stu’s passing even though I never knew him. It was emotional for the obvious reasons but also for what he had willed himself to do. He wanted to go out on his terms. He wanted one more chance to be in the company of his ultra family and to be sure they knew what they meant to him.
On Friday, after her own personal Hell Week, our aunt finished cancer treatment. She’s been through nearly a year of diagnosis, testing, surgery, recovery, treatment, recovery again, and more treatment. And now she is at the end — and the beginning.
Finally, she’s able to slowly get her life back after a tumultuous ride. She’s still standing.
While out for a run yesterday morning I was listening to a podcast with ultrarunner Jeff Browning. He discussed how he is using his running to bring attention to the preservation of parts of the Oregon Desert Trail. He said being a trail runner and enjoying nature inspires him to be active in preserving it. Nature can heal us and if we give it a chance it can heal itself from our mistreatment. It’s all about intention and attention.
What inspires you? Go looking for it this week, it will find you — guaranteed.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G