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I just got done watching some of the webcasts of the Arnold Sports Festival. What can I say? Everyone I saw was an inspiration. What does that matter? Sometimes we dedicate so much to sleep, diet, and exercise but still find ourselves plateauing. If I'm really doing so well in those arenas, where else is there to look but inside? I needed an internal heave-ho and seeing the competitors at the Arnold really did it.

Why is that? Watching the Figure International pre-judging, it seems every lady called out had either completed a masters degree, had at least two kids, or donated an entire paycheck to a charitable organization. Who does that? I find it pretty hard to stay in shape, have hobbies, and work. Add on the life of being a professional competitor. It isn't a cheap sport and is loaded with some time demands. To be able to do these things while raising children, childbirth, and school, it's a wonder they don't look worn out. The winner of the Bikini International is an 18 year old student on a fast track medical school program in Florida. And I think I'm tapped for time. Aside from those girls, a couple of the coaches from Crossfit Soco were competing in the weightlifting events. Jacki and Natalie aren't what I call huge girls. They are however what I call bad ass. They take away excuses of size some of tend to associate with strength. They are proof that size isn't always the limiting factor we let it be. Anyone that's been close to a goal knows success is just as nerve wracking as failure. It is no small feat to put yourself up on a platform with your only options being success or failure.

Sometimes I think of these things as a slap in the face, calling me lazy or less than. Inspiration isn't about making you feel bad though. It is about making the impossible seem possible. These are people with everyday concerns about children, life, money, etc. They have jobs and aspirations like the rest of us. Some want competitive events to be their job, some want to go on to be something else. The idea is to find something that inspires you because it's more than a slap in the face. Inspiration goes on to tell you to stop beating down on yourself and recognize it can be done. The moment you look at something inspiration and start the negative self-talk, stop. That mindset is the enemy. Realize someone is showing you a potential way to get things done. Figure it out, make it your own. Be great. In the words from Harold Lamb, that means "to crush your enemies, to see them fall at your feet -- to take their horses and goods and hear the lamentation of their women" (check it out, pre-Conan - Genghis Kahn: the emperor of all men, 1927; p. 106-107). So maybe not JUST like that, but you get the idea - allow yourself to be inspired.
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