By Mike Tarrolly
When you have your own business and work at home, motivation can go south in a hurry. So, Sunday night I made a commitment to do something productive outside of the house every day this week. It took one night to ignite inspiration.
Nashville is absolutely loaded with options these days and Monday night I decided to hit the once-a-month gathering hosted by Nashville Creative Group. They were having a “show and tell” event where creators get three minutes to share what they’re working on. About 15 people signed up to share and I sat comfortably in my isolated chair near the back.
The third person on stage was a guy in a black suit with a handle bar mustache wearing a top hat. The look was captivating, but the story was even better.
He started by saying he had a stroke 7 years ago. He was a chef at the time but the stroke stole his memory of how to cook.
One of the therapies was to sit down and write in an effort to restore his ability to think. It was a painful process that took years. But eventually his cognition started coming back and over time he wrote a book which he proudly displayed in front of the audience. I spoke with him at the end of the night and he said it was difficult to write the book because he always forgot what he wrote the day before. But he pressed on with action and because of this book he landed a 7 book deal with his publisher.
In my heart I know this is the kind of inspiration that is waiting around every corner when I step out of my comfort zone. But inspiration isn’t action and that has been a difficult concept for me to tackle. That night I came home and pulled out a few books to really zone in on my “dreams.” But sometimes I feel like I’ve read enough, or watched enough videos on YouTube and it’s time to “make something happen.”
I think this is a very common problem, actually. Someone once described it to me as “premature optimization.” We want to “learn” everything before we do anything.
But more times than not the best way to learn is to just do it. Dive in, make mistakes, push your body to the limits. That’s how we learn and grow. That’s what triathlon is all about.
On Tuesday night a friend brought me to his professional group to see a speaker, and it turned out to be the Iron Cowboy, James Lawrence.
If you’re not familiar with James, he’s the guy who completed 50 Iron distance triathlons in 50 days in 50 different states. He talked about a few of the toughest moments, but I have to imagine there were hundreds or thousands of “I’m just going to quit” thoughts he had to overcome on his journey. As it turned out, his 12-year-old daughter may have saved the entire quest. She came to his side at a pivotal moment early in the streak. He was out of it, wobbly and trying to find a reason, any reason to quit. But she made a commitment with him, saying she would run by his side for part of every day. It was her own “50 5K’s in 50 Days,” and she wasn’t a runner.
So, this brings me back to how does inspiration intersect with action? I kinda think that inspiration germinates inside and someone (or something) else turns those desires into action. It’s really the genesis of Crushing Iron. I started writing about this journey as a novice Ironman in training and it went on periodically for years, but it took a collision of that passion with Coach Robbie to turn it into what it’s becoming. We committed to releasing podcasts on Monday and Thursday and haven’t missed one in a year. We have hosted 3 camps and coach a growing group of amazing athletes who have become the motivational force to keep creating action.
This is the topic of our latest podcast. Thank you for listening and we hope on some level we have helped you do what you’ve done for us.
Speaking of Inspiration . . . if you’re looking for a great way to prepare for an Ironman or other big race in 2018, check out the C26 Triathlon Camps. We have a few spots left in each and they are sure to make you better and more confident in your racing. Four days of excellent instruction, beautiful venues, and great people. Here’s a video from one of last year’s camps. Dates are below.