|Trans Iowa v.11 Checkpoint #1 - Photo Credit: Jason Boucher|
I believe we all hunger for Inspiration. My proof is Social Media. We watch each other every day liking pictures of someone doing something we only wish we could do. I figure this is why Instagram and Facebook are so popular. Me, I try to find Inspiration from the individual people that touch my life. I would say I started looking for inspirational nuggets at a very early age.
The first time I can remember being truly inspired was when I was eight. One of the neighbor kids would fly by my house on his skateboard and from the very first time he flew by I knew I needed to learn how to skateboard just like him!
Part of the reason I'm where I'm at today is the inspiration of many others in my life. People like Mike Dunlap RAAM Qualifier. He inspired me to enjoy riding my bike forever, long hard controlled riding. We would be done and Mike would always go for another 80 miles. He does all the riding because he loves it.
I'm sure anyone that follows JayP finds inspiration because he knows no bounds. He has proven us as individuals have no limits, we can do anything and go anywhere. If you ever have read any of JayP's blogs, you know you have no limits but your own mind.
Even riding with your local leisurely club, you find examples of inspiration. The local Sioux Falls club has regular donut-run rides. The really cool part is they all meet early and ride 30 mile to have a Zebra donut from Centerville, SD. They work together as a group down and back even though they are all of different abilities. Watching the teamwork and patience is impressive plus they all have an amazing time!
There is nothing like the energy of a new cyclist. When you take that new energy and put it with a work ethic that likes to push themselves to be better, you have something truly amazing. I experience this each and every ride I do with my local race team. They push, encourage, and support me. They are part of my bike family. Their energy inspires me to want to go harder and faster.
Several years ago, I was on an early spring 40 mile ride with my friends Joe Stiller and Dean Kusler. They were both kicking my butt! If I have to be honest, I don't like being dropped on rides, who does? :-) I asked both Joe and Dean what they had been doing over the winter for riding. Joe said spinning inside and riding his fat bike outside as much as possible. Dean said he was just bike commuting to work every day. That day changed my life indefinitely. I always took winter pretty easy thinking I needed too but they both inspired me to change how I looked training and riding my bike. The next winter I started bike commuting to work and training outside as much as the icy conditions will allow. I no longer look at temperature as a barrier. I look at the temperature as an opportunity to test gear and my mental toughness.
The source of most my cycling inspiration has been my best friend Joe Stiller. Together we have done the Triple Bypass and Leadville events. Joe inspired me to do my first gravel race, snow race, winter training, ultra-racing, riding centuries, counting centuries I do in a year, ride 200+ miles and to ride my first 10,000 mile year. Joe has done what really good friends should do; he has helped me discover my fullest potential and inner confidence. He's still working on me even today. ;-)
Together Joe and I will compete in the 2017 Race across the Divide. I turn 50 that year so I wanted to celebrate 50 years of life by doing something epic. My moment of inspiration came to me three years ago while watching "Ride The Divide" a movie about the longest mountain bike route in the world traversing over 2700 miles along the Rocky Mountains from Banff, Canada to the Mexican border. One thing to note is the thought of doing this event terrifies me but I love thinking into the future and the all the prepping I will be doing to do this amazing journey.
Remember, we are all family, we all share things that inspire others. I guess what I'm trying to say is surround yourself with inspirational people and feed off their drive! I always will.