Early in my high school years I was able to attend a conference that featured a motivational speaker. His story was about overcoming cancer and the pain and trials that he endured. His challenge and message was about overcoming life's adversities with a smile. He spoke about the impromptu concerts he and his friends put on while he was undergoing chemo therapy and the happiness that brought himself and other patients. He talked about the importance of optimism and forward thinking in the midst of trial. He shared his story so that other's could benefit.
This is a common occurrence isn't it? The sharing of the extraordinary stories of others serve to buoy others around them. Isn't this how Oprah made her money?
I think in health and fitness, the principle is no different. The amazing weight loss of someone (The Biggest Loser), the amazing strength of another (The Strong Man Competition), the amazing physical skills of an individual or team (name any professional sport) motivates us to be our better physical self. Here are a few things that inspire and motivate me. If this blog pans out the way I hope, some day, I plan to share interviews with a few of these individuals that I so vaguely speak about. They are common themes we've all heard before, however I am still inspired by the individual insights into an individual's story.
The weight loss of friends. I have two friends in particular who have experienced a great amount of weight loss. For both, the motivation wasn't vanity, but instead good health and positive feeling about life. I am amazed by their dedication, discipline and journey.
Stories of individuals who overcome serious injury. I just read an article about a budding professional snowboarder who fractured his back. He was told that he'd never walk again (theme sound familiar?). He's now a Crossfit stud (check out the article for the full story). I can think of personal acquaintances who needed to go through grueling physical therapy to overcome an injury and/or major health concern who are now an inspiration to me.
There are numerous stories that can be shared, but the point is this: sometimes, the motivation we need comes in the form of others. I'm going to venture to say that everyone around you has an interesting story to tell. You've just got to get it out of them. I believe that it was Dale Carnegie that taught that the key to being interesting, is to be interested in others.
Be interested in others and they'll tell you their story. They may not be a motivational speaker, but I'll venture to say that you'll find great motivation and inspiration in their story.