Inspired to “Find Your Greatness”

Nathan Sorrell, Nike Jogger

Edge-of-the-seat thrills are what I have experienced watching the 2012 London Olympic Games. I have cringed and covered my eyes like many of the parents who couldn’t bear to watch their children compete and fall short yet would not be anywhere else but near their sides. I have been misty-eyed with sadness and joy along with each athlete as he or she stumbled or excelled. In every area of the Games stories of hope, strength and inspiration abounded.

Watching the Games, I found one of the greatest inspirations in an everyday person in a television commercial. Yes, a television commercial. The 2012 London Olympic Games television coverage is offering some of the best commercials ever. They are memorable and moving.

This one, I have talked about and I will replay it like a great motivational speech. Nike did something special when it cast 12-year-old Nathan Sorrell in its “Find Your Greatness” advertisement. For the 2012 London Olympic Games coverage Nike produced a campaign showing ordinary people from towns named “London” around the world seeking fitness.

Nathan, from London, Ohio, T-shirt soaked with perspiration, jogs along a lonely stretch of road. There are no crowds to cheer him on — just determination. He might be 5-foot-three-inches tall, weigh 200 pounds and for now, a short distance jogger, but to me, he qualifies for the gold.

PS I’m going to kick things up a step and buy a pair of Nike’s for my roadwork — on the treadmill.

Frida Kahlo: Light of Inspiration

Excuses abound, but true reasons are few, for why I can’t do something. God has given me something to do in this world. Just in case I lose focus and stray from my path, God has provided lights of inspiration along my way.

One of those lights of inspiration is Frida Kahlo. July 6 (1907) is the birthday of this woman

Frida Kahlo:

artist who endured a life of pain yet never stopped creating. Celebrated worldwide, Frida Kahlo depicted Mexican and indigenous cultural tradition, combining those traditions with Realism and Symbolism. She created art from her own reality — giving expression to the female form and experience.

Kahlo survived polio and a horrific bus accident in her youth and for her lifetime, endured great pain. Yet, amidst her pain, she created more than 200 works of art. Kahlo died July 13, 1954, in Coyoacán, near Mexico City, where she was born.

Museo Frida Kahlo is teaming up with Vogue Mexico for “Appearances Can be Deceiving: The Dresses of Frida Kahlo.” Read more in the October 10, 2012 story:


‘Heroine of your life’

Nora Ephron

So many of us can identify with the people or events in Nora Ephron’s books and screenplays. In addition to being a wonderful writer and storyteller she was an inspiration. She took the awkward surprises of life and turned them into truthful entertainment.

Ephron died Tuesday, June 26, 2012. From mail girl to journalist, author and filmmaker, she remains an inspiration and an unforgettable influence on modern culture.

How I identified with Rita Wilson’s character (“Sleepless in Seattle”) crying while describing the final scene of “An Affair to Remember.” I know that scene, and countless others in her films, resonated with women worldwide.

Who can forget the brotherly insight David Hyde Pierce shared with Meg Ryan in that same movie: “When you’re attracted to someone, it just means that your subconscious is attracted to their subconscious, subconsciously. So what we think of as fate is just two neuroses knowing that they are a perfect match.”

For me, what remains in the forefront of all the memorable words she wrote or spoke is a line from her 1996 Wellesley Commencement address. Ephron, class of 1962, with wisdom and truth, told the graduating women: “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”

She showed us it’s possible.