Over the past couple of years, as I have been on this personal journey of mine I have come to realize something really important. People can find the inspiration they need waiting for them just about anywhere. It might be something big and obvious. It could be something small and seemingly insignificant to you and I. Everyone is different, and there is no telling what is going to push us to succeed. For me, I would have to say that the inspiration to make myself a better, stronger, healthier person comes from a number of different places. My daughter Meghan is the biggest, of course. I am also motivated and inspired by some of the people around me that have had a profound effect on the person that I am today. A few of those people (Matt, Belinda - R.I.P. guys) were taken from my life waaaay too early as far as I am concerned. I've talked about them both before.....and I was reminded recently that I talk about my daughter AAAALLLL the time. Even when I don't even realize it apparently. And to the person who brought that to my attention...too bad. LOL. But tonight I am going to talk a little bit about a person who inspires me every day. Someone I am have know most of my life and all of hers. Someone I am still extremely close to after nearly four decades together. Someone I am happy to say is definitely STILL alive and kicking. That person is my "littlest" sister, Christine. Now it might not seem fair to build a person up like that and then NOT divulge everything about just what makes then soooooo darn special....but that is just the way it is going to be. Out of respect for her privacy I am not going to tell you everything she has been through. That is her dirty laundry and not mine to air out in public. HOWEVER....lets just say that the girl has come a long way, okay? I think we have all heard the term "people can change" thrown around at one time or another. I would love to believe that that is true. For the most part I agree with it. People CAN change. Unfortunately, most of em just don't. My sister though, is living proof to me every single day that some people really can...and DO...choose to change who they are. Again, without going into toooooo much detail, she went from being someone I used to chase down when she cut school (nearly every day). Someone I used to track through back alleys when she chose the wrong crowd to follow.

Someone who very nearly didn't graduate from high school. To someone I am proud to look up to (even if I am older and taller than she is - lol). In the sports world when an athlete is suspended or takes a leave of absence (cough - rehab!) they call it "battling personal demons." Well Christine has certainly sen her share of those. I have to admit that years ago back on day one when she told me she had had enough of the life she was leading, even I wasn't sure she could pull off so dramatic a change. But more than  a decade later now she is happily married, out of the neighborhood and in a great position professionally. She is also healthier, happier, smarter, wiser and so much better. And sometimes when I need a little push for something as simple as getting out of bed to run on a rainy day or finding another push-up or sit-up in me when my body reeeeaaaalllly just wants to sit on the couch and watch TV, I remind myself of what she went through to get where she is now...and I find the little boost I need. I am happy that she is still around to tell her story....or to have me tell it. My daughter loves her to death too...and it fills me both with pride and fear to see how much Meghan is like her at times. I am HOPING this doesn't mean when my little girl hits her teenage years that I get to do all that chasing and worrying all over again, by the way. But for today, let me just say Happy Birthday to one of my favorite people of all time. Chris, your own journey and all that you do for the people around you get over-looked sometimes (unfortunatey). But you are a miracle to me and alot of others too I am sure. Glad we got to celebrate another birthday together this year. Looking forward to a WHOOOLE lot more too. And because my own personal journey continues every day, I made sure...on my little sister's birthday....to push myself as hard as possible today in her honor. Started the morning off with a good solid mile and a half run, followed by a killer ab routine in the man cave. Then tonight, with Meghan fast asleep, I headed BACK into my basement santuary to spend more than an hour and a half working up yet another good sweat. Had a full day and a full weekend. Now, it is time to rest...for tomorrow is Monday and the work week begins again...ugh. :)