If you’d asked me who inspires me the most this time a year ago I would have given you a completely different answer to the one I am about to give you now.
If you’d asked me who inspires me the most this time a year ago I would have given you a completely different answer to the one I am about to give you now. In fact I know it would have been Michael Jordan; one of the greatest ever sportsman and undoubtedly the greatest ever basketball player. A man who possesses an incredibly strong mind-set and is an inspiration to many. Part of me thinks I should be writing this blog about him. Then again even though he will always have a place in my heart as my hero, I go through stages of who’s inspiring me most at that point in my life and at the moment I can’t say it’s him. Instead I’ve gone for a less famous, but just as mentally strong, Henry Rollins, the writer, actor, activist, radio DJ and singer songwriter.
I was introduced to the work of this man towards the end of last year through a friend. He gave me one of his books and it was then that my Rollins journey began. I read the first fifteen pages and I found his words a joy to read. As someone who’s hated reading for the best part of my life, I instantly took my hat off to the man!
The book went on but unfortunately things changed. I soon found him to be incredibly rude and judgemental. As a firm believer in manners and as someone who is trying to become the least judgemental person they can be, I was beginning to lose respect for the guy. I decided to keep ploughing through the pages though as I didn’t like the thought of quitting on the book. After a while I soon realised this was just the way he was. If I didn’t like it , it was up to me to put the book down and walk away. But then I started to see that his rudeness wasn’t always a bad thing… Wait… It made me realise that he was just an incredibly frank individual, saying EXACTLY what he thought and let’s face it, people like that are hard to find! He is the epitome of ’sticking it to the man’. I respect people who are that honest.
By this point I decided to broaden my interest in what this man had to offer by spending numerous evenings watching many awkward and uncomfortable interviews with him on YouTube – Despite cringing at his boldness and confrontation, my love for him grew and grew.
As stated before his mind set is strong, (or would straight forward be a better word?). Anyway there was one line of his that really stood out to me and I have never forgotten it. In fact if reading 246 pages of what actually turned out to be a rather repetitive book in my opinion meant that I gained this one line, then it was worth the three month struggle! – ‘You either do it or don’t do it, it’s that simple’… In a way I can see the potential controversy with this statement as there are so many contributing factors to our behaviour in life. But REALLY, if you think about it, things ARE that simple. Yes you may have a justified reason for not going to work one day (man flu), not walking the dog (he went for one last week), not hitting the gym first thing Monday morning after you’re so called ‘wild’ weekend in which you tried to re-live your teenage years (the hangover from hell), but at the end of the day you still didn’t do it.
I use this line as motivation though. Where? At the gym. Obviously rest periods are needed between sets, but when it’s getting to the point where I’m just becoming a lazy arse and should move onto the next bunch of crunches, sit-ups, planks.. well anything really, I think this line to myself and just get on with it. The next set may seem an impossible task and the burn may be dreaded, but as I often say to my best friend – ‘if someone paid you a million pounds right now could you do another set?’ to which he always responds yes, then I realise – you either do it or you don’t do it, it’s that simple… 6 pack here I come!
Rollins is an intelligent and interesting man, but if he’s inspired my life in only one way, then that line is it.