Where Inspiration Lives
I write for myself. I write because I need expression, words, communication, dialogue just as much as I need oxygen. Sometimes, I get feedback. Once in a while, I hear from someone that tells me the words make a difference. That’s solid gold. It’s not the reason I write, though.
There are days (and today is one of them) when I need inspiration. I need reasons for doing all the things. I need motivation. Here’s the recipe: get prepared. That’s right. I start by packing my gym bag the night before a heavy workout. I prepare all my food and package it, ready to go, so all I have to do is drop it in the bag and walk out the door. I check all my gear. Today, Monday, I’ll hit a heavy squat workout, follow it up with some dumbbell press complex work first thing in the morning. Then I’ll put in a full day at my job. After work, I’ll tape up my hand and wrist, wrap it like a Christmas present and go rock climbing on an indoor wall.
Yes, I can. I mean, if I can’t miss a day at my job and I’ve typed over 180,000 words since I broke the wrist/hand three weeks ago… if I have to wrap and tape a mitten to the hand and strap it to a snow shovel so I can shovel out my giant driveway for three hours on the weekend… if I have to figure out how to haul water with one hand and get in and out of a sports bra, I can damn well climb with my two feet and one hand.
Actually, I’ve gone climbing twice since the break. It’s easy, top rope, indoor gym stuff and it feels good to just be vertical. It’s a solid Zen practice to remember to use my feet, to listen to the hand, to let it tell me what it can and cannot do.
So, when I need inspiration… I prepare. I pre-plan. I get my mind right. I decide in advance what I’m going to do to participate in my own life and to bring the Good. And then I get after it. Inspiration arrives on the heels of hard work. If you’re missing yours, check under your workout bag. If it’s dusty, give yourself 20 pushups and get moving. Or not. Tell me all your excuses for why you aren’t doing what you can, why you aren’t starting right where you are, why you aren’t living your best life. I’ll listen. For about a minute and thirty seconds. After that, you’re just repeating yourself anyway.
My daughter hates me sometimes. It’s legit. I hate myself occasionally, too, but not for the same reasons. She hates that when she digs through her bag of excuses for why she just “can’t with it” (dishes, laundry, room cleaning), I don’t give a rat’s ass. She tells me, “Not everyone is like you, Mom.” And we have epic disagreements. And you know what? Somehow, like magic, she finds the ability to do the dishes or the laundry or the room cleaning and it doesn’t kill her. It’s simply shocking.
Not everyone should be like me. Not everyone should scrap and struggle and work their ass off and go through two divorces in twenty years and lose everything twice. Not everyone should lay their life and heart on the line and singlehandedly raise a teenage daughter in a dry cabin for two years in frozen Fairbanks, Alaska. Not everyone should win and lose and lose and lose and get back up and get the ring again. Not everyone is Titanium. I chose that name years ago because I felt like tattoos are superficial. Why color pretty on your skin when you can carve your name in your soul and then live up to it every day? I needed more. I chose a new identity and every day it demands, it requires, it calls to me. Just like the mountains.
I needed inspiration when I woke up this morning, so I did the work. I lifted heavy weights. I bit off more than I could chew. I sat it out, regrouped, and kept working. I talked to my coach for a while this morning, not about myself (not this stuff, anyway)… but about her. She’s a powerful competitor, a Regional athlete, best of the best and one of the most decent human beings I’ve ever met. Her graciousness inspires me. Her work ethic inspires me. Her losses inspire me. The things she doesn’t say out loud- they inspire me, too. They’re written under her skin. She steps outside her comfort zone and is willing to live there, if need be, in order to achieve her goals.
So, you out there… reading this right now… what inspires you? What have you done outside your comfort zone TODAY? What difference have you made for your circle of family and close friends? Who is struggling? Who is failing at life so hard they can’t breathe? What? You don’t know? Get after it.
If it’s you, you have the secret recipe. I just gave it to you. Do the Work. That’s it. Where are you procrastinating? What do you KNOW you need to do, but you just aren’t even doing it? Take the smallest step today. Bite off a little bite. Refuse to quit until you’ve chewed that thing. Just do it. And then the next.
If you’ve got all your shit dialed in and you just have no problems today, good! If your real life is half as shiny and awesome as your Instagram photos, refrigerator magnet wisdom and Facebook posts, we should all be apprenticing to you. Congratulations! You get the biggest job. Your job is to look around and find the nearest, closest human being you know and care for and reach out. Say the words. Actually engage with them. Chances are, they just can’t even. They’re hurting, broken, broke, overwhelmed, under water and even a smile makes them cry. I know.
Yeah, you just got homework. You can disagree with me if you want to, in fact- why don’t you share your thoughts right now? Say the words. Write it down. Get it all out. Maybe, like my kid, you’ll hate me for a hot minute. I frankly don’t care.
Well, I kinda do. Hell, we all care to some extent what others think, feel and say. We’re all connected.
So, talk to me, Goose.