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Inspiration.(11 posts)

Inspiration.Len J
Jan 11, 2002 2:05 PM
Reading about the one-legged cyclist and Elefantino's experience & people's response to it got me thinking about those people in my life that I have been most inspired by. So I thought I'd start a thread about inspiration.

Tell us all a story about someone who has inspired you.

Len

PS I'll add mine later.
Not a person, a verse....DINOSAUR
Jan 11, 2002 5:48 PM
Purchased a poster at a Runners World store back in the middle 70's (yes they had stores). Shows a rear view of a runner running up a narrow country road. It appears to be morning, the road is wet due to an earlier rain or morning mist. The road is bordered by open farm land and ascends into a group of trees at the horizon.

At the top of the photo:

THE RACE IS NOT ALWAYS TO THE SWIFT
BUT TO THOSE WHO KEEP ON RUNNING.

I like to think that I'm winning the race...

Another one I learned in Marine Corps boot camp:

DON'T QUIT

Simple stuff but it works for me...

I have more, but I like this one also:

THE HIGHEST FORM OF BLISS IS LIVING WITH A CERTAIN DEGREE OF FOLLY.
(yes, it helps to be a little nuts)...
More verse....biknben
Jan 14, 2002 12:03 PM
"Do not follow where the path may lead.
Go instead where there is no path,
and leave a trail."

Given to me by my mother when I was a teen.
re: Inspiration.harlett
Jan 14, 2002 10:05 PM
when i was ten, my biggest concern in life was making the soccer team-- my best friend gabriella was saving the environment--
when I was fifteen, i spent sleepless nights wondering if my new crush would ask me out-- gabriella.well, she would spend sleepless nights telling me about the inequitable state of our society--
when I was twenty-two, i was knee-deep in graduate school-- gabriella joined the peace corps and boarded a plane to namibia africa, her sights set on changing the world--
for eight months i received the most amazing letters from gabriella, letters delving into the heart and soul of a country that only ended up on the map of my life when gabriella departed on this journey-- through her letters, i followed her path of discoveries, felt the joy in her heart when she brought laughter to people who spoke a language she was struggling to learn, and used her teaching skills to reach into the hearts of children and help them discover the beauty not just in education, but in life-- "i have found freedom with these african spirit children," she wrote-- and, as always, i remained inspired by gabriella, by her work, and by her ability to see the beauty in the sunrises, the sunsets, and the simplicity of a child's laugh--
on january 11, 1995, gabriella died in a tragic car accident in namibia-- when a light as bright as gabriella burns out, it is often difficult to describe her to those who never knew her-- i wondered how i would ever be able to share her impact on me--
then i had came in contact with four peace corps volunteers who served with gabriella in namibia-- the five of us started an effort that strived to capture the ineffable magic that was gabriella-- that effort was the funding of secondary school scholarships that would help expand and improve educational opportunities for namibian children-- this effort has opened my eyes to the fact that one person's memory really can move mountains-- in some way, gabriella's memory has brought together many members of a virtual, entirely volunteer-staffed organization-- we work from all corners of the globe, and many of us wouldn't recognize each other if we passed on the street-- yet these people are some of the most important in my life because we're connected by the common bond of preserving the memory of someone we all admired and that i loved-- we all feel that we are just continuing gabriella's thoughts and actions-
this year 53 namibian children will be getting a secondary education thanks to gabriella-- it's a profound example of how the inspiration of just one person-even in a short life-can have such impact on the lives of others--
just one person...
..i carry gabriella's mantra in my heart as a reminder that we all can make a difference by filling our lives with love and laughter--

"go and find the sun that will fill you with warmth and
happiness and you will see the days unfolding around
you are the good days, the days of pleasure and dance,
the days when you can breathe more clearly because
you feel alive, because you are alive, living days that
mean something to you-- embrace yourself, embrace all
whom you love and believe in possibility..."

life is a verb......
WOW.......Len J
Jan 15, 2002 5:14 AM
what a wonderful human being. Thanks for sharing her.

It is amazing what ripples can come from one small stone thrown into calm water. We all affect others in ways we cannot imagine, both for the good as well as the bad. I'm sure that if your friend Gabriella read your tribute, she would not recognize it as her, she was just being herself.

Once again harlett, you have touched me. Thank You.

Len
More info...Len J
Jan 15, 2002 8:11 AM
Please e-mail me @ ljanssen@cambridge-intl.com and let me know some more info about these scholarship funds. It sounds like something that I would be interested in.

Thanks

Len
re: Inspiration.Len J
Jan 15, 2002 7:56 AM
One of the inspirations in my life is My Mom's brother.

He has always been the most active, charitable guy I've ever been around. He is always doing something for someone else, organizing fundraisers, finding people housing, listening to problems, networking ways to use his contacts to help someone who needs it, weather we are talking about work or money or health care, he has never believed that anything is impossible.

30 years ago, when he was 40 years old, he started experiencing muscle pain. Gradually this pain reached the point where it was cronic. He started going to Doctors. MD after MD told him that they couldn't find anything wrong, it was all in his head, maybe he should see a Psych. MD. He refused to give up his belief that it was real. Finally he got an appointment with one of the premiere muscle disease Doc's in the world. After a battery of tests, The Doc told him that there where 13 Known types of Muscular Dystophy, he had # 14. In 30 years of practice, this Doc had seen 2 other cases.

For 30 years now I have watched this disease get worse & worse. The only way to slow down the disease is for him to stay as inactive(use his muscles as little as possible). He refuses to change his life. I have watched him gradually lose first the ability to walk and then gradually (through amputation) both of his legs. I have watched his weight drop from over 200 lbs to 92 lbs. I have watched the pain invade him starting as something that I got a fleeting glimpse of to something that is a constant companion, showing itself at the slightest muscle use. I have watched him go in and out of the hospital as his weakened body gets torn down little by little.

What I have also watched is someone who refuses to feel sorry for himself, who refuses to let this disease change his mission to help people. He still is up at 5:00am, either on the phone most of the day or meeting with someone who needs help. Conversations with him are never about him but rather about the people that he continues to invest his indominitable spirit in. He is the best example I know of someone who touches everyone around him in ways that change them, always for the better.

Recently I got the call I had been dreading, it was time to say goodby, he was in the hospital & the MD thought he had hours. As my family and I gathered amid the constant stream of those he had touched, all of us realized how much his positive energy had changed us, and how much of it we took for granted. We watched his breaths get shallower and shallower, waiting, wishing him rest. Suddenly he opened his eyes, looked at me and said: "I'm not ready yet, there is still too much to do." Don't ever tell me that will doesn't matter! That was a month ago, last night I took him to dinner, he refuses to give up, he's home & working as hard as ever & in as much pain.

I figure if he can maintain a positive attitude, why can't I.

The power of one.

Len
I wish I could find someDog
Jan 15, 2002 8:16 AM
I'm looking for inspiration. Things are not well here.

My wife is pregnant with our first child in June. Due to some complications, she is on bed rest. This may or may not continue until birth. Of course, this means I'm doing absolutely everything for her and the household. I'm glad to do it, but it does take a lot out of you. Not much time for riding or wrenching, either.

On top of this, my wife's 82 year old father died this last Saturday night from cancer. She's pretty torn up. They were very close. She's on bed rest, and can't do anything to help. Her mother is 80 and doesn't understand a lot of things very well, so I'm pretty much taking care of her mother, too. This could continue indefinitely.

Boy, how life can change quickly. In a few months I've gone from seflishly riding my bike 20-30 hours a week to maybe 6 hours, if that, and having to be concerned all my waking hours about several other people. Yes, I need some inspiration.

I've wondered about the being a good parent thing, but now I believe you don't really decide to or not, you just do it. You feel compelled to from somewhere deep inside, like a sense of duty. You simply do it.

Maybe for many of the people who inspire us, as well, they did not become inspirational out of a desire for great achievement or success, but simply out of an inner sense of duty or will. They simply did what they felt they needed to do. Like Lance Armstrong surviving cancer or winning a Tour. Like Harlett's friend helping people. I'd bet that at the time, they never felt they were doing anything great, only what they felt they needed to do.

Maybe we can't look to others for inspiration. Maybe we just do what we feel we need to do. I'm just thinking with my fingers, and I can't really figure it out. Still looking for inspiration.

Dog
You may be right....Len J
Jan 15, 2002 8:40 AM
about doing something out of duty or will. As I've said before, for me, life is about choice. We all have the choice to do what's right or not, to do or not to, to act or not.

Dog: I find it hard to believe that there is no-one in your life that has inspired you. When I think of what I know of you, I see someone with an iron will, incredible self-disipline and a strong sense of what is right or wrong for you that guides your actions. It certainly is possible that this sprung up from nowhere, but I bet that there have been strong influencers in your life that helped shape who & what you are. In writing this I guess it is possible that strong negative influences can be as strong inspirations as positive one's (I.e. I never want to be like that!)

It sounds to me like your a little tired, both physically & emotionally, and that the dramatic change in physical activity is taking it's toll. (Sounds life a pretty human response.) FWIW it sounds like you have your priorities in order, and that at this point in your life it's important that you be a giver (to your wife) not a taker. This "choice" will only strengthen your relationship.

While ultimatly it is only us we can look to to make the tough choices in our life, our sense of what is right comes from somewhere. Whereever that comes from I would call inspiration.

My sympathy to your wife for her loss. Wishing her a safe pregnacy.

Len
For What It's Worth...Jon
Jan 15, 2002 9:30 AM
there are a number of people on this board who inspire me as a result of
certain details of their lives which they have shared and unique qualities of
character which shine through their posts. Some of you are Len, Dog,
Harlett, Rollo Tomassi, Lonefrontranger, TJeanloz, Grzy, Dino, and Peloton. A diverse bunch,
you all unconsciously make your contribution to others simply through who
you are. NEVER discount the "ripple effect" of your attitudes and behaviour.
Doug, Don't dismiss the power of prayer...ACE-
Jan 18, 2002 11:30 PM
Mine are with you.