Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Inspiration

My first memory of inspiration was in the dentist office. Odd yes, but I remember reading the inspirational and motivational posters that my dentist had on the walls 10, 20 times, trying not to gag on the "bubble gum" flavored fluoride paste dripping down my throat. You know the posters I'm referring..."The true reward of a thing well done, is to have done it" or "The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible". These quotes were usually preceded in the poster by a like picture. The pictures were usually of some type of natural occurrence (visualize a frozen plain with a beautiful red tulip blooming through the ice as it was a sunny spring day...Perseverance!) that visual stimulated the mind and created a cohesive mental image stronger than the quote or picture isolated by them self.

As I grew older I found inspiration in other ways, mostly from my family, friends and other athletes. However, since I started doing triathlons several years ago, the story of Dick and Rick Hoyt, no matter how many times I hear, is still the most inspirational and overwhelming story. I could try to paraphrase their story, but I wouldn't do it justice. This link will shoot you to an excerpt from a Sports Illustrated story. There is also a short video at the end that captures the spirit and strength of this father and son. I was lucky enough to be at the Ironman World Championships this year to see the Hoyt's and although their race did not go well, the image that I saw will forever be ingrained in my mind.

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