Who has inspired you? Who have you inspired?

The other day I was walking through a grocery store and a local business owner named “Jay” came walking up, shook my hand, and proceeded to tell me how I “got him up on his feet and moving again.” This sounded great except for one small detail. I cannot ever recall having a dialog with Jay about getting him up and moving again.

As we were both going through the checkout line, I asked him how and when did I get him up and moving again?  He said, “I watched you jog by our house.” That was it. That got me thinking back to when I found some motivation to start moving my feet, i.e. “get up and moving again.”

Like a lot of busy people, I had to re-commit to finding time to get physical and focusing on meaningful self care. Back then a routine trip to the doctor was somewhat of a wakeup call. I’d gained some weight and was stressing too much at times leading to a spiked blood pressure. What? For years, I had never really had any of these types of concerns to worry about. Nevertheless, there they were.

Just before this doctor visit, we had a company function at a sports arena. We invited clients and guests from all over. It was fun. We had some great networking and mixing. I noticed one of our clients in attendance. He was tall, athletic and had obviously lost some weight. I told him, “Wow, you look great! How did you do that?” He replied that he also had faced some less than favorable news at the doctor’s office and it motivated him to get after it with diet and exercise. This was a combination of working with a personal trainer and monitoring his nutritional intake.

All I knew was that he looked great. That night I said to myself, “I’ll have what he’s having”. Although I am certain he didn’t wake up that morning thinking, “I am going to go motivate Lee”, he clearly made an impression on me.  In other words, his motivation had an impact on me.

At Voltage, we talk about taking baby steps to make change happen. The time had arrived for me to practice our own medicine. The wheels were turning, goals for weight loss and moving the feet were set. Cut out 100% of junk food and drink. Because of the weight gain, it wasn’t wise to just start jogging again. I started walking modest distances of 1-2 miles. After a couple weeks, I added a weighted vest. After a couple of more weeks, I increased the weight in the vest, increased my distance and threw in some hills. After about 8-10 weeks, 25+ pounds fell off. I could now start moving my feet toward the next goal.

I called a close friend of mine and asked him to run with me in a 5 miler along the shore of Lake Michigan. He agreed and the challenge for us was set. We had to train up for this. Over the summer months the baby steps increased. First jogging 3, then 4, then 5 miles within a targeted time. “D-day” came in the Fall. We joined 18,000 other runners, hit the finish line and achieved the goal. I watched as my friend’s swagger returned. It was awesome to see.

I am not a marathon runner and never want to be. My range in the “old days” was a 10k or 6.2 miles. Since the running event, it’s been a minimum of 5 miles, sometimes 10k every weekend. Guess what, I’m not giving it back. It’s in the striving, not the arriving and the people around us take notice without us saying a word.

What is the impact from your motivation? Who has inspired you? Who can you inspire this week? Get motivated and pass it on.