The Gallery – Inspirational People

I am blessed to have many inspirational people in my life, though recently I have been thinking of one who has inspired me to change this year. Thus it was quite fortuitous that this week’s prompt for the gallery was Inspirational People.

During a random conversation that took place in January, he asked me “What are the five things you do that make you happiest?” (or something like that).  A seemingly straightforward question at first glance, but one I found so very difficult to answer;

I like cooking yes, but trying to feed two fussy toddlers and a husband who worked shifts (thus not always available) was sucking all the joy out of cooking.  I like hanging out with my children, but does that really count.  I like reading, but never get any time with an un-tired head to read anything these days.  What is it that I do just for me, well I knit and design things to knit… OMG is that it… It may sound selfish but he was the one person I knew that really pushed me to find me again, to make me realise that somewhere along the line, while my life was changing, I had lost who I was.

Enough about me, how has he been an inspiration.  Well he badgers me, challenges me, nags me (oh I am going to get grief for writing this).

He has encouraged me to read and find out about a plethora of new topics and interests, some way out of my comfort zone.

This has included reading about how to get the best out of our brains.  It may have taken me months to get around to them, I am not exaggerating, I am a bit hard-headed sometimes and even though I had them in print, it took until I found these books on audio book to get round to reading them; as I rarely get time to actually sit with a book. (excuses, excuses I hear him cry)  But once started I got through them both in a couple of weeks.

The books are The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge MD and Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John Ratey MD. Both really good reads, even if having started Spark in January I thought the first chapter was stating the obvious, hence starting a huge debate, but we shall leave that there for now.

So he has pushed me to read, encouraged me to believe in myself, we have collaborated with work projects, and whilst I know at the end of the day it is me that has been doing the changing, he has been there every step of the way to; metaphorically; hold my hand.

You see he is miles and miles away, in another time zone, which is often a huge frustration. Yet he is miles and miles away and when he is trying to get me to think about something that is difficult about myself, I can just switch the PC or mobile device off and not have to deal with him, until I realise the seed of truth he has planted, starts to grow and I acknowledge the inevitable, that he has been right all along, most frustrating.

So back to these books & my brain.  A brain I would often refer to as; broken or just plain crazy. (It’s not by the way, it’s just a wee bit different.)

I have always enjoyed exercise, but as many find it hard to motivate myself to get off, my rather wide bottom, to do much.  There is always an excuse, how can I go to the gym with two toddlers, I can’t start a weekly class as my darling husband works shifts so I can never commit to anything, the weather is not always nice… he always highlights these and does not tolerate them at all.

You see after a rather traumatic experience when I was eighteen, I’ve never really cared about how I look, I’ve cared that I am healthy, happy but how I look is not important to me. (Told you my brain was a little wonky) Thus the primary motivation for most people to exercise just didn’t work with me.  The feeling after is great, but the effort to start seems too much for the final emotional pay off.

Knowing that I have a rather empirical brain, that likes things to be scientifically proven, rather than just tell me what to do; he encouraged me to read what the experts said.  The two things that jumped out from reading these books is that I had to use my brain, to exercise it as well as my body, and that exercising my body would balance it out, allow it to heal itself and make it stronger.

So I started doing more, hubs thinks its great as it is me pushing him to go for a bike ride, and rather than getting grumpy, down and hiding away, getting out for some phys will take me right out of my mood and make me more capable to get on with my day.

He doesn’t accept my whining about feeling down, as I he reminds that I have the tools to change it.  That reminder alone has been a huge inspiration.  In fact I don’t even need to tell him I am feeling down any more, when I think it, his voice pops into my head giving me the reality check I need.

One of the activities that he has done for many years is climb, he talks about it with a passion, how he and his family all climb together, both indoors and out.  So when my best girlfriend was having her birthday this year and was talking about wanting to do something different to try something new, we decided to go climbing.  A serious win-win, as we could hang out together, try something neither of us have done since our teens and face a few fears; I hate heights for one.

Anyway I loved it, even more, I believe, than she did.  The personal challenge, the using muscles I don’t normally use, the trusting that someone isn’t just going to let you fall, the whole lot.  Long story short, I cajoled the mother of one of Maxi’s friends, who is also free of children whilst they are at nursery to go on a climbing course and start climbing together.

So at least once a week we can now be found climbing walls at the gym, rather than climbing walls at home due to the stresses of children and home life.  He is currently fielding a deluge of questions about what kit needs to be purchased, and putting up with repetitive questions just so I am totally sure.  Enough to drive anyone up the wall, though to date, he’s been most patient.

Everywhere along the way he has been there, with advice and support.  He never makes me do anything, but encourages me in the right direction.   He has been my inspiration this year and continues to be.  My family think it is great, my husband thinks he’s getting the woman he first met back again, my children think that Mummy is just awesome and can’t wait to join her climbing on the wall too.

Now he is very shy so I won’t share his name, but he knows I think he is awesome, if only for putting up with my incessant questions, and as for a picture, well I love this one, and I know it is one of the only ones he would sanction me posting.

He is a great husband, father and friend.  I am blessed to call him my friend and hope I am half the friend he is to me.  He has opened my mind to new things; caused me to question many parts of my life and faith; encouraged me to try new endeavours; a true inspiration.

(I’ve just read this and it sounds so slushy, he isn’t like that at all, and he is also far from perfect, but he has been a great inspiration to me this year, and long may it continue.)