Of Hummingbirds, Yoga Toes, And Inspiration Versus Motivation


Hi folks,

Hummingbird feeder,

Per instructions, a hummingbird feeder was installed, with food included, and due apologies for the delay.

I was sitting on our front stoop for the first time in four or five days, thanks to Doxycycline rescuing my sorry ass from some form of tick-borne fever, and there was a busy fluttering around my head. I looked up and there, hovering about 18 inches from my nose, was a beautiful humming bird, and he was pissed. Beware the ire of hummingbirds, because they’ll peck your head if you get out of line! This guy was looking me in the eye, or should I say glaring, with a simple message, “Where the hell is my feeder?” I felt duly chastised, and within the hour the feeder, which had been lying around collecting dust was installed and ready. If my avian friend returns, and permits a photo moment, I’ll substitute the image for the one currently showing the feeder I provided.

Question: did the hummingbird inspire or motivate me to install that feeder? Maybe intimidate would be the right word.

Chez Ollie FitOldDog’s new Yoga Toes, modeled by Deb this morning.

I also received instructions recently from another attractive creature, my Continuum instructor, Rebecca, which was to purchase Chez Ollie. Rebecca is like the hummingbird in that she looks you directly in the eye in a penetrating but not-penetrating, just seeing everything including you, kind of way. The message is the same, “Listen!” I also suspect that if I got out of line Rebecca might peck me on the head, too. So I don’t push it. Instead I ordered my Yoga Toes, as you can see. When they arrived I remembered clearly that I like gummy worms but I don’t like gummy bears, even though they are made of the same stuff. And here were my gummy Yoga Toes looking ready to eat, but they don’t taste so great.

Question: Did Rebecca inspire or motivate me to purchase my Yoga Toes? I think instructed is the right word.

This brings me to the interesting topic of inspiration versus motivation, when it comes to safe exercise for better health. You have to be motivated, and sometimes you don’t feel like it but the best thing to do is ‘just do something.’ For inspiration you sometimes have to look outside of yourself and watch others achieving that to which you aspire, such as ‘being buff,’ running well, or just being full of life and energy. I don’t mean just young people, watch older athletes and you’ll see what I mean. When I undertake Ironman races, younger people will often tell me that I am an inspiration. I find this contributes to the joy of my sport as it feels as though I am helping someone else to stay motivated by providing some kind of geriatric inspiration.

The bottom line is that inspiration generally comes from the outside, except when the inspiring event remains only as memory, whilst motivation can come from within and without.

Nothing like a little push from a bird the size of my thumb to get me moving. I hope I see him at the feeder today. Go find your inner hummingbird, and you’ll be training like the best.

-k @FitOldDog



  1. Marsha Schauer says

    You are a good writer. This is a thought-provoking topic. I must say that your experience was my motivation to get back to healthy exercise. Who knows what is the spark that suddenly catches fire? Athletes always motivate me; for me it was instantly ‘inspiring’ to see an older person who has had a big health challenge still engaging life in a strong way. Yoga toe stretching and another foot exercise cured a month-long plantar fascitis. I’m off for an AM bike ride, before my hummingbird day distracts me!

    • Don’t forget to have a mirror and watch out for the crazies. Keep up the good work and thanks for the encouragement, we all need it. My first Yoga Toe lesson from Rebecca was very helpful and interesting. Lots to learn every day. -k

  2. What are Yoga Toes for?

  3. By the way I don’t think the bird needs a feeder, it just needs some flowers.

  4. What about the Yoga Toes? How long do you wear them?

  5. stacey mcdonald says

    Great blog, Kev. Love it.

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.