As I have mentioned before, I joined a gym in March of this year. It was a step toward making myself a better person. Sure, I wanted to lose weight, get fit, and build lean muscle, but more importantly I wanted to improve my emotional well-being and work toward becoming mentally tough like I used to be. It’s not that I do not have mental toughness now, but I do not remember using the phrase “I can’t” very often when I was younger. In the past 5 months I have accomplished much more than I anticipated. I am faster, stronger, thinner, more persistent, and mostly fearless when it comes to workouts. More importantly, sometimes I say that I cannot do something, but I suck it up and try. More often than not I am actually capable of doing what I did not think I could do. When I cannot do something I wish I could do I get frustrated, but it makes me want to work harder. Today I attempted to row 2000 meters in 7 minutes. I was not able to do it, but I plan on getting there. I know it is possible, and I am not afraid to try over and over again, for as long as it takes.
I am at the end of my second week of a six week workout program at my gym. It is a walk-in group instruction with women of all different shapes, sizes, abilities, ages, etc. This morning there were several women working through the circuit training at their own capabilities, speed, and modifications. I was next to an older lady (not old, just older) who was supposed to be doing 25 second planks while I was doing longer planks. She had watched me perform the various other activities and commented on a few of them, and she kept repeating over and over that I was an inspiration.
What makes someone an inspiration? What does it mean to be inspirational?
I started reading about inspirational people on http://www.biographyonline.net and eventually looked up their definition of what inspirational really meant: “To be inspirational is to lead by example and encourage others to feel there is something worthwhile to become and do.” The article goes on to give characteristics of people who are considered inspirational. You can read the full article, which includes links to additional articles about inspiring people here: Characteristics of the Inspirational
In light of this, I submit that the older lady doing planks and working hard is an inspiration to others, including me. She did not have to show up to the gym. She did not have to put in the work. She did not have to stay up in that plank position until the trainer told her it was time to rest. But she did. She was leading by example. She did not quit. She also made the comment that she felt like the mom of the group because she was the oldest one there. Talk about encouraging others to become and do! I don’t care if you can plank for 25 seconds or one minute and thirty seconds, as long as you hold that position. Be an inspiration.
Thank you, lady at the gym this morning. I hope to be a badass like you every day of my life, 25 seconds at a time. Oh, and to the other lady on the treadmill who talked with me, you are also an inspiration up on that mezzanine. See you tomorrow.