KRYSTLE CLEAR: Finding Inspiration

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Inspiration: it’s something I have been thinking a lot about lately. There are the little moments- the ones that kind of surprise you, and change the way you see things, even ever so slightly. In order to tell you about my recent situation, I’ll have to give you just a little background info about me…

Sometimes (okay, more than sometimes) it takes a lot to get me to the gym. I like the way I feel after a workout, but getting me there sometimes is like pulling teeth. Same thing goes for staying there. Which is why I like to go to the workout classes at my gym. It makes it harder to stop or cut the workout short- there are people watching! But still, getting through that full 45 minutes can be a challenge.

Recently, I’ve been paying a little more attention to who is all working out around me in these classes. Regardless of the day, or the type of class (cycling, kickboxing, zumba), I have been noticing a familiar face. Now, I am really bad at guessing ages, but it’s safe to say this woman is an older woman- a “senior citizen.” I’m not saying she is the only one her age to enjoy working out, or am I saying there is an “age limit” to the gym, or anythign like that, but to watch her is inspiring.  Every class, she is smiling. She is working hard. And she’s having fun. Now anytime I am discouraged, I glance at her and it really changes my whole tune. It inspires me to not only suck it up and work out harder, but to enjoy it.

In my line of work, I am lucky to have the opportunity to meet inspirational people, and share their stories. It’s amazing the affect some people can have on others- and have no idea that they are so inspirational. This week I have been covering RAGBRAI (for those who don’t live around here, and maybe have never heard of this, it’s a 400 mile bike ride across the state of Iowa over 7 days) and it’s been HOT. But I am telling you, it’s one of the coolest things to see! Thousands of people biking for hours…7 days straight…in the blistering heat…and LOVING it! It is so great to see.

Riding along with RAGBRAI as the riders make their way from Webster City to Marshalltown. Sam is filming them from the back of the car as we drive in the middle of them.

A group of bikers heading into Marshalltown. Can you spot the couple dressed as cows? :)

More riders .. almost to the end for the day!

I would love to do this someday! I would of course need an awesome looking, fancy pink bike and a matching pink biking outfit. That being said, it has been pointed out to me that I might not be so great at something like RAGBRAI. There is camping involved, and long outdoor rides that don’t necessarily cater to people who require indoor plumbing and lots of sanitizing and lack of “germs”. Some people laugh when they think of me in the outdoors, to which I respond- “hey, I am campy and outdoorsy!” I think I may have made their point…

Some examples of my “camping skills”: Recently the girls of my family did a little summer camping trip. They all wore old, comfortable clothes they didn’t mind getting dirty- we are outside after all. I brought a whole new cute wardrobe from Express…complete with this new “camping” hat you see me wearing here with my mom. What? I thought it was very camping appropriate. :)

I insisted my sister, my mom, and I all get matching campfire outfits. Of course, in pink.

I think I could manage RAGBRAI though, because everybody is just so encouraging and there is this feeling of “togetherness” that somehow spreads over a crowd of more than 10,000! It’s pretty neat. Plus, there is food at every 4 or 5 miles. That sounds like my type of event! So there’s a goal for myself- join in on RAGBRAI. (One of my friends/co-workers even offered to help train me – for the ride and the outdoorsy stuff! I hope she knows what she is getting herself into…)

While covering the ride, I obviously met some great people and heard some incredible stories. But one of my favorites is the story that I have been working on for tonight’s broadcast. There are two guys who are not only riding the more than 400 miles of RAGBRAI, they are riding across the country together! That’s almost 4,000 miles! How cool is that? And one of my favorite parts of it, is they just decided to do it. They planned for 2 years, but I mean they just knew it was something they wanted to do, and they did it. I think that’s inspirational in itself- if you want to accomplish something, you don’t have to wait for a “special time” or “monumental moment”- make the experience your own, and just do it. Definitely advice I will be following as much as possible!