Monday, October 8, 2012

Momentum Monday: What is your Inspiration?

Today's Momentum Monday is about inspiration.

Inspiration can come from many different places or people.  There isn't always just one person or one thing that inspired you to do something.  Mostly it has to do with a combination of persons or events that inspire or encourage you in a cause or goal.

During my training run on Thursday I became overwhelmed and for a very good reason.  I was running on the Myrtle Edwards trail in Seattle, for those of you that don't know that trail it goes along the waterfront between the piers and is quite picturesque to run along.  While I was running I came upon my turnaround point for this run and it also happened to be at the rose garden location.  I immediately started to tear up and paused in my run to talk to someone that I lost there.

A few years ago, a friend of mine was working on getting into better shape.  He was in his late forties and a man that had worked on the waterfront and in boats most of his life.  To say he drank would be like saying Mt. Everest is tall.  He loved food, drink and good friends.  So when I heard that he was eating better, cutting back in his drinking and taking up running again, I was surprised and inspired.  Here is a man that would normally belly-up to the bar for IPA's and shots of Jack after a tough day at work, now lacing up his sneakers and going for a run.  It was working too, because he was looking great!  He had trimmed down a lot and he seemed to have more spunk and energy than he normally did.

I had gone by the pier on a Tuesday to drop something off for work (this was when I worked as a port agent) and it was a particularly difficult day during this ship call and everyone was in a tizzy.  My friend, Mike, was under some particularly heavy pressure and I got to hang out with him a bit, have a few laughs and see what was going on that day.  A bit later as I was getting into my car to leave, I saw him again and was going to say goodbye and flip him some shit about something, but he hurried off and didn't see me as I was waving at him.  No worries, I would do it tomorrow when I saw him in the morning.

That night I got a tearful call from my friend Danielle, "Mike's dead".  The words hung in the air like a plastic bag floating on the breeze.  "What? I just saw him today! What happened?" I asked.  She said, "He collapsed during his run after the ship left, he was running with his friend along Myrtle Edwards and collapsed."  The medics had come and took him to the hospital, he'd had a massive heart attack and they weren't able to save him.  The shock was almost too much to bear and this loss would follow me everywhere I went while I worked at the piers.  I was reminded everyday coming to work that Mike would never be coming back and I still fight back tears even now thinking about that.

What I found out later is that he was running and collapsed in the area of the rose garden, almost the center point between the two piers he managed, in an area he loved so dearly.  I'd only been to the rose garden a couple of times since his passing and I would be running with someone, so I never had a moment to reflect there.  But I knew that he was there and that he had passed away while doing something that he had enjoyed in his youth and revisited that joy as an adult; running.  

His passing encouraged and inspired me to better myself health-wise like he had done, he inspired me to run.  I checked with my doctor first, to make sure this type of workout and strain on my body was acceptable, as I knew he didn't heed the warning signs that something wasn't right when he began running.

So on Thursday during my run I paused and talked to Mike.  I told him that I missed him, that we all missed him and thanked him for inspiring me to run. I told him, "I wouldn't have done this if it wasn't for you; this is for you."  And I kept on running.

He'll be with me when I run; in my heart and on my mind, knowing that he would be encouraging me to keep running if he were alive today.  So my running Momentum and Inspiration is my dear friend.  This run's for you Mike!


  1. What a brilliant post. Thinking of you.

    1. Thank you Kate, it was a tough post to write, but it was something I needed to share.