What Inspires You? - Diligent Fitness

What Inspires You?

11th September 2013 by Kieran Igwe Motivation 0 comments

7 years ago I got a phone call that changed my life. I answered my phone, expecting the usual catch up with my mum. But ‘usual’ couldn’t be further from the truth.

She broke the news that my dad was in hospital after suffering a stroke. He was only 54, so this was totally unexpected. I didn’t know what to make of it. Was it minor? How would it effect his life? Would he even live?


Struck down by a tiny blood clot

I thought Dads were supposed to be invincible (I don’t think I’d even seen my dad lying down before!). So seeing him laid out in a hospital bed, concious, but unable to move or speak felt like Mike Tyson had just hit me with a low blow.

He’s a proud man. Came from Nigeria with NOTHING, studied hard, built a business, went bankrupt, brushed himself off, retrained and established a successful psychotherapy practice. So I knew something having a hold on him like this would have been hugely frustrating.

The stroke left him with severe aphasia (loss of speech) and no use of his right arm and leg. I know it would be easy for him to yield to his new limitations. To give up trying to do anything. Maybe even to give up on life.

Limitations don’t have to hold us back

It has been 7 years since the stroke left my dad unable to move in a hospital bed. But fortunately the story doesn’t end there. Not only is he up, about and causing mischief at home, last year he picked up a national art prize at Stroke Association’s 2012 Life After Stroke Awards.


(SIDE NOTE:  If you’ve ever had a birthday card from me there’s a big chance you’ve had a piece of my dads artwork in your home 🙂 )

art by angus card

You can probably tell I think my dad is amazing. And something he has inspired me to do is to be better each year in the areas that matter most to me.


But this is bigger than my dad’s story

My dad’s story obviously has personal meaning to me. But my main realization from reflecting on this is that we are all amazing. And capable of far more than we give ourselves credit for. Despite the limitations we think are holding us back.

So, if you’re feeling inspired after reading this, I’ve got a challenge for you:

I want you to name the one thing you most want to make happen right now. Big or small, it doesn’t matter.

Now, work with what you’ve got right now and take the first step today to making it happen 🙂

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