Tag Archives: inspiration

Inspiration Refill

Take a second, and think about the things that inspire you. Is it a certain song? A certain band? Going to an art exhibit? Talking to a certain someone? A certain movie?

Inspiration is a hot word in popular media. Let’s take a second and consider what it means to be inspired. Inspiration refers to feeling mentally stimulated to pursue action or feeling, often attributed to artistic expression. The funny thing about inspiration is that we can’t choose what inspires us. We can try things that have inspired others, but we can’t MAKE something inspire us. The magic and beauty of inspiration, is that it just happens. It’s unexpected. You experience something, and BOOM, you feel energized. Sometimes you feel energized to take specific action, other times you might feel energized to do SOMETHING but you don’t know exactly what. It’s a special occurrence.

Life get’s busy. School. Work. A relationship. Family. We all have many pieces of our lives that require attention. Some we choose, others we don’t. That’s how life is, and it’s completely understandable. However, if we aren’t careful, we slowly stop to be a part of the things that inspire us. We leave that instrument untouched for days, months, years. We realize we haven’t picked up a paint brush for years, etc.

Ever since my first live concert, a Beatles impersonation/cover band, I knew live music was special to me. I remember leaving the show, completely blown away. Years later, at my first concert with my friends, on our own, I remember feeling the same thing. The music was loud and energetic. The crowd was yelling each lyric back at the band. The band soaked up that energy, and reflected it back to the crowd. I couldn’t put into words how it made me feel. Throughout college, friends and I would routinely drive an hour or two, for a show, and come right back on the same night. As time passed, as I continued to grad school and as I started my career, I stopped going to as many concerts. Months started to pass by. Next thing I knew, I couldn’t remember when I had last been to a show! I realized I needed to specifically make an effort to go to a concert I wanted to go to, even if it was a bit inconvenient.

I now go to shows more consistently than I did during my concert hiatus. I am no less busy now than I was, but I am reminded that every time I go to a concert/show of bands I love, I almost can’t contain the inspiration/energy I feel. I feel inspiration to apply myself to MY creative outlets; my brand, music, fitness. I have made it a point to continue this inspirational source. I can’t always make it to every show I want to go to, but I’ve realized that the effort it takes to involve myself with these shows is worth it.

The purpose for this post is to remind us that sometimes inspiration has to be pursued. Most of the time, if not always, we are glad we put in the effort to get that refill.

What inspirational sources do you keep consistent? What inspiration have you let slip over the years? What are your plans to pursue inspiration again?

Isaac

// FitMentality Clothing Co. //

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Compare yourself, to yourself.

Many times when we learn about someone who has reached a similar goal that we have, we compare ourselves to them. Or maybe they seem to be farther along in reaching that goal than we seem to be.

It’s natural to compare yourself to someone else. We do it all of the time. Many times without doing so on purpose. It’s healthy to gain inspiration from those who seem to have a better grasp on their fitness, or seem to be more consistent with their nutrition. However, be careful not to sink too far into the “they are so much better at this than I am, how can I even compare? That way of thinking doesn’t help.

Instead, feel encouraged that at some point they made a decision to slowly but surely improve their nutrition and fitness. Little by little, they got to the point where they are. Maybe you are comparing yourself to someone who works out five times a week and you wish you could do so. Don’t feel discouraged; take inspiration from their commitment and use that to fuel you to add one more workout to the week.

Maybe you have a friend who compared to you, is night and day with the food that they eat. You wonder “how do they eat so well? I ate In n Out three times in two weeks!” Instead of getting down on yourself and focusing on how different your diets are, spend your effort on improving your own diet just a little bit this week. Add one more vegetable every day this week. Just one, in addition to what you are already eating. You can do this by going to the store and buying a bag of a frozen vegetable or vegetables. All you need to do is pop a serving in the microwave and you are good to go. Add one more fruit each day. If you already have one piece of fruit each day, the next time you are the store, buy a few pieces of another fruit. If you already eat a few bananas a week, buy 5 apples also, and eat one a day. Baby steps.

Organic? Grass Fed? Free Range? Stayed at a 5 star resort before it made it on to your plate?

Yes, these are great things to consider when buying food. However, don’t worry about them if you have had trouble having a balanced diet to begin with. Improve the situation you have already consistently followed. Not eating many veggies during the week and then jumping to organic only everything, is a dramatic jump. I would say, slowly work in more veggies and fruits on a consistent basis (organic is great, if you can), then once you get that under control, put more effort into where you food is coming from and how it’s treated.

Gaining inspiration from others is great, but that is where the comparison should stop. We can learn from each other and put into action tips that have worked for others. Beyond that, it’s YOU that matters. What changes can YOU make? How can YOU keep these changes consistent? What can you realistically do, that will slowly move you to a stronger and healthier life?

Personally, I gain lots of inspiration from friends who are more fit or eat better than I do. I try as hard as I can to not get discouraged that I am not at their level, but take the inspiration that I feel from them and use that to make the gradual changes that are applicable in my own life.

The only comparison you need to focus on is how committed you used to be about fitness and nutrition, and what changes are going to be necessary to move beyond and consistently into the future.

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I am so thankful

 

 

Before every workout I do the sign of the cross. Every time I finish a work out, before I walk out of the place I am exercising, again, I do the sign of the cross.

 

No, this isn’t about me pushing religion on the reader.

 

My reason for explaining this is to share how appreciative I am of the gift of being able to participate in fitness. I am thankful that I get to do these things. I am so thankful that I get to push weight around, or jump up and down off the floor, or push as hard as I can through an intense interval workout.

 

One of the first posts for this website is called “I Love This”, and it’s all about how much I love fitness. Part of what makes me feel that anyone who is lucky enough to have the ability to be active should, in their own way, take advantage of that, is because I know what it’s like to not be able to be active. There was a period in college where I was sick for an extended period of time. It was a very difficult period. Also, during the begining of my master’s program, I had some heart problems that lasted for an extended period of time as well. These situations took the gift of fitness and being active, away from me. As I sat and tried the best I could to recover, I would daydream about being able to have the strength to exercise again. There was a point where I wondered for how long, or if I would ever be able to be as active as I was before. It sounds dramatic, but it was a very real concern. These two events, along with my already strong passion for fitness, made me all the more appreciative of this gift. As I slowly started to get better, I couldn’t have been more thankful. When I run, lift, dance, climb, walk up stairs, I am reminded of how important it is to not take it all for granted.

 

We are lucky we get to do this.

 

The feeling of knowing you left everything out on the floor or gym, is priceless. The self esteem and confidence that is reinforced through a tough workout is priceless because you know you just accomplished something very difficult. That feeling that you can take on any task, that you get after a workout, is translated into the rest of your life. When you know you can set yourself to consistently push yourself through fitness (whatever fitness plan that works for you), you take that self confidence with you into performing well at work, or in school, or other projects you are a part of. I mean, shoot, if you can push through an exercise while sweating and barely being able to breath, then surely you can give a few minutes presentation. Surely you can ace that test you have been studying for. Compared to the effort you put in during a tough workout, the rest of it all is easy peasy!

 

Woops, got a bit excited and went there with the easy peasy. You’ll have to excuse the cute analogy.

 

This applies to everyone. Everyone who gets up off the couch or from behind the desk, and gets out and gets moving. I don’t want the reader to think that since I talk about “workouts” or “lifting” that I’m ignoring other activities. Definitely not! Whether your form of exercise is cycling or hiking or running or swimming or playing sports or walking. It all applies!

 

Basically, all of life gets better when we consistently move our bodies around. This, my friends, is what it’s allllll about.

 

I’ve been sitting too long as I write this. I’m gonna’ go be active somewhere!

 

Errr, it’s late and I should go to sleep. But later tomorrow, THEN, I’ll go run around and enjoy the wellness!

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