Inspiration is something we sooner or later talk about.
Wether it is an act of charity, a good deed, a celebrity defying great odds or a friend, we all find it in different places. But could it be said we look too hard, expect too much of others or sideline simple acts due to their relative insignificance.
Take running. A subject close to my heart.
Other than the London Marathon, all attention is focused on the elite figures chasing medals and records. This is all well and good, but much like football, as soon as a player makes a mistake in their personal lives, we criticise them for not being a perfect human being. Furthermore, it is hard for us to truly relate to them, given their lifestyle and care they must take in front of camera not to damage their own brand. And this is where lines have to be drawn.
Inspiring figures and role models are often two different things.
Sports men and women chase a career as a professional athlete to compete at the highest level, working in their passion and enjoying what comes with it. Yes, money and fame can motivate some. However, too much attention is given to every minute aspect of their life, especially their private lives.
And this is where annual events such as the London Marathon defy this societal practice. The headline are the elites, as we follow their race, watching every twist and turn, every meter lost and gained.
But, and this is a huge but, the majority of coverage is given to normal athletes, regular people who are doing extraordinary things. Whether they are dressed as a Rhino, skipping, running backwards, juggling or simply hoping to make it round in the cut off time, these are the TRUE inspirational people. The stories are wide and varied, the reasons are numerous, but collectively they are the same. Achieving, inspiring, raising awareness and fundraising quietly in the background, helping society.
They may only run this one race a year, may never again. Their time may be not so great on paper, their gait inefficient and body fat less than ideal, yet their passion and enthusiasm masks this.
And that is where inspiration is found. Hundreds of hours spent training, time spent fundraising, making costumes, money consumed on equipment. But they don’t care. What they care about it those they will help directly or indirectly. What matters is other people.
Let us not forget, you don’t need to look far for inspiration, provided you are open to letting your eyes find it.