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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Inspiration. . . .

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. -- John Quincy Adams
Okay, so I am sitting in church blogging....before you pass judgment, it hasn't started yet.  I, Jennifer Jones Capps, being of sound mind and body was early (for once....and I mean really early!)  Caroline and Catie sing once a month in a community choir at Westminster Presbyterian Church and today is their Sunday.

I truly had an eye-opening experience yesterday.  I didn't write about it in my blog last night because it really had a "delayed" effect on me.  Someone I know told me that I was an inspiration to her.  Me? Me an inspiration?  The one that ate 5 slices of pepperoni PIZZA PERFECT last night, the one that DIDN'T go to the gym MORE than she DID last week, the one that because she only went to the gym two days last week GAINED 4 lbs.  Inspiring?  Well that's eye opening.  Now, I know my gym girls and I hold each other accountable and have done 5Ks together and inspired each other mutually.  But, this was not one of those girls.  I know this person but the fact that I was an inspiration to her was a shock.  So, today I am thinking about inspiration.....(I + thinking = danger!)  But really what does it mean to inspire?  What does it take to inspire someone?  Who has inspired me?  (Well you know me being the list person, I had to immediately make a list!)  I am leaving out my family because I don't want to mention one family member and another family member get ticked because I didn't blog about their inspiration.  So, no names a being used and no family is going to be mentioned! 
People who overcome their past.  As I said, I will not be naming these people but just say they haven't had the "Leave it to Beaver" atmosphere growing up and have had every opportunity to become UNproductive citizens.  These people are inspiring--despite the odds stacked against them.  I have a friend that is about my age (UNDER 40) and we were talking one day and she told me that she grew up withOUT indoor plumbing!  I was shocked.  She was the youngest of many children and her dad was killed while she was in elementary school.  He was a mechanic and was working on a car and it fell on him killing him.  Horrible, yes!  But, even worse, her mom was accused of causing the accident.  My friend put herself through college and now has her doctorate.  Amazing?  Yes!  Finished her doctorate while working fulltime, married, and mom to two small kids.  Inspired?  No doubt.  There are others that are inspiring by persevering through tragedy.  I know an amazing woman that lost her mom, her thirty something son (unexpectedly to a virus), and her loving husband to an aggressive brain tumor--all within a relatively short period of time.  Despite all the tragedy, she manages to be such a positive and EVEN happy person.  I know pieces of her heart have been chipped away but somehow she always has a smile, a kind word, love for and a boast about her grandchildren, and of course a War Eagle!  Inspiring to me?  You bet 'cha and makes me a more thankful person too!

So, what about small inspirations....there are two people that regularly attend the gym that I go to.  One is a female, fairly short and probably weighs around 300+ lbs.   She comes in gets on her treadmill with her head held high and walks and sweats.  She may have the lowest self esteem but comes in the gym with confidence.  I know what it is like to be 300+ lbs.  Would I have EVER stepped into a gym? Negative.  She is inspiring to me.  Does she know it?  Nope.  There is also an elderly gentleman--in his 60's, around 6'4" and very thin.  He has muscle wasting and Parkinson's Disease.  Probably no one else in the gym knows or even notices.  But he has a very awkward gait and being a nurse I diagnosed him when he walked in the door.  Parkinson's is a nasty disease and it affects people differently.  Most people lose coordination, strength and muscle tone.  It can affect cognition or not.  Most always have a stooped posture and a shuffling gait.  This man comes with his wife?, caregiver?, sister?, friend?  Not sure but she doesn't assist him and he is there very early in the am.  He gets on the bike without assistance and rides--slow and steady.  The effort it takes this man to do any task is daunting.  Just getting dressed, getting in and out of the car and finally getting on the bike probably takes this man an exhausting amount of effort......but he does it.  Just seeing him there inspires me.  If he can get to the gym despite all of his problems....why can't I.  What takes me 5 minutes to do would take him 15-20 minutes but he makes it there.

Who have you inspired?  Who inspires you? 

It is difficult to inspire others to accomplish what you haven't been willing to try.


  1. Wow! This post in itself is inspirational! Thanks Jennifer!

  2. Thanks, Shana! We all need to stop, take a step back and live life and stop just existing!