What is inspiration? What inspires you?

Been a long time since I wrote here, huh?

Well let’s start this off right…

What inspires you? Of course most people agree you should inspire yourself, but that isn’t always the case. We all have moments of defeat, loss, and down times. It is hard to reach inward to find inspiration when you are going through those rough stretches. Those are the times when little things outside of yourself can often light a spark to inspire you.

Here is one story of inspiration that came from an unlikely source and one I didn’t realize how much it truly did inspire me until later.

When I was a kid I was forced to wear hearing aids because I was born with a loss in both ears.

When you are young, and you have to wear these things, you tend to not look forward to putting them in.

I went through Grade School with them, Junior High… and then in Junior High School something happened which led me to eventually accept what I was born with and made me realize that these things are helping me rather than making me stand out.

In Junior High we had a class of deaf kids. Kids that legitimately could not hear much at all and they were sometimes made fun of by other kids in the school. Kids can be cruel, yes.

I was a writer for the JH newspaper and the Editor (a teacher who’s name I forget) assigned me to write about these kids because she knew that of all the writers on her staff, I could relate the best to them.

I admit I was apprehensive at first because I had zero experience dealing with people who were deaf. As far as I was concerned, I was the only person I knew in my age bracket who had to deal with being hearing impaired.

When the day came to go to their class and talk with them, I was exposed to sign language (even though I couldn’t understand one bit of it) and learned that these were kids just like me.

They laughed, enjoyed the same things I did, had brothers, sisters, liked sports and were just like me except for one glaring thing.

They couldn’t hear a thing while I could at least hear.

As I left that class for the day it planted a seed in my head that I didn’t accept until a couple years later, when I finally came to grips with my hearing loss and didn’t worry about wearing the devices I had to wear.

These kids were made fun of, ridiculed by their peers, couldn’t hear, couldn’t communicate normally and they still were just like kids should be.

That was my first exposure to something similar to me and eventually changed my attitude about myself.

Although I grew up in a diverse environment, I was still a kid. I didn’t see things through other’s eyes like an adult can and I didn’t comprehend the idea that there were people like me out there. For me to understand I wasn’t alone, was a huge eye opener.

This was inspiring to me. There have been people throughout history who have overcome odds to make it in this world.

Too old to get a college degree? Tell that to a 55 year old woman who is back in school to start a career.

Not genetically gifted enough to play a sport? Tell that to Dat Nguyen who was undersized at 5’11” (listed at 5’11” but you know he was shorter) who ended up playing for the Dallas Cowboys. Tell that to any athlete who had to work extra hard to overcome a lack in height, lack in weight or lack of speed.

Tell that to to the college dropouts who made themselves into millionaires by virtue of work ethic and persistence.

If you think you can’t find inspiration during the best moments of your life, and your down times, you aren’t looking hard enough.

This isn’t to say you should want to excel for someone else, but sometimes we can look at others and say, “well hell, they did it… what the hell is stopping me?”

When I get emails from people who have had success with my book, that is inspiring to me. When my clients win their classes at meets, when they compete in a new strength sport and do better than they thought they would do or when they hit a milestone in weight loss and share it with me; THAT is inspiring to me.

Excuses are saved for the ones who didn’t try. Find your inspiration, whether it is yourself, your friend’s success, or someone whom you look at and admire for what they did.

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