Originally written the night before day 1 of a 4 day 161 run down the coast of Southern California in honor of fallen female servicemembers. I had big plans on a really great pre-run blog post, but the thoughts are jumbled in my head, and the emotions are even more amok. Fittingly enough, the only way to clear my mind and my heart is mile after sweet clarifying mile. So I'll leave you with the one thought that keeps coming to the front of my mind - Inspiration. I've heard some variation of "you're an inspiration" quite a few times over the past week or so, and I have to say it's my favorite compliment. But if I've inspired anyone with this or any other endeavor it's only because I've been lucky to BE inspired by so many. By a hippie that ran across America for veterans and communities, by a son who inspired his father to start a movement, another father that carried that message across the country, the family that stands by me - even when they know the stuff that doesn't go on facebook, the Marines that travel hours to put on a uniform and stand guard at a funeral of a man they never met, but called a brother, the mothers and fathers that wake up and go to sleep with their children every day, the women and men that leave their families to fight for a nation, the mothers and fathers that come to this nation for a new life for their families, for the girls that face bombs and attacks just to go to school, the Gold Star families that take deep breaths and keep walking every day, the friends that support me through every imaginable means, the woman that leaves the chance for wealth to serve her fellow humans, the woman who tackles every challenge with a fierce independence, and the woman who follows her faith despite how ridiculous it may be to someone else. 

And especially this week, by the little girl that has inspired so many, without ever speaking a word.

Inspiration isn't ours to keep. You get it for a while, you cherish it, then you pass it on.

Cherish your inspiration.

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