Guest Blogger Eric Jorgensen

I first thought of motivation as more than inspirational speeches and videos when a friend, whom was my younger brother’s best friend, and brotherly to me, killed himself in his car on a grassy hill deep in his family’s country property. He was sick and sought help from appropriate outlets, but the pang to end his life was too strong. A few days later, I watched as my brother, just off a plane, entered the church where a wake crowded with family and endless childhood friends had been mourning for half an hour. The group seemed to have finally caught its breath before my brother opened the church doors. Most everyone turned around to see the person they knew was among the closest, if not the closest, to the fallen. I could feel his panic the moment he saw his best friend’s casket; a flush went through his body and he bit his cheek and averted his eyes to find where his friends were sitting. The mourners’ hearts broke again. It was the worst moment of my life, but paled in comparison to his. I felt helpless as his older brother. I couldn’t soothe the words he kept repeating: “It hurts. It hurts so much.”

This is my baby sister and my baby brother. They are both reasons and benefactors of me living life as happily as possible.

I hate more than most anything that it often takes death to spawn perspective. It feels cheap, but it hits, which it did me. In the haze of that day, I had a renaissance.

In the wake of my friend’s death, I began viewing life like a well. In this well I poured my sustenance. I poured work and deadlines. I poured commutes. I poured meals. I poured entertainment. I poured health, friendship, thought, principle and family.

The well soaked.

When it was time for me to draw from it, something had changed. I lowered, dipped, and raised the bucket, but my ingredients did not rise to the surface. A new brew ascended from the well—the result of everything I have in life: motivation. Motivation to become a proactive member of my own happiness, for the benefit of others and myself.

This is when I truly became a fitness enthusiast. Like many SF Marathoners, I found something I loved and I ran with it, literally. I trained for and ran in the 2011 San Francisco Marathon. The effort that took, and the satisfaction it yielded made me happier. In making me happier, it made me a better man. I harvested the happiness I felt so that it may manifest elsewhere; in moments of glee, in the places I yearn to be, but above all, in the people I care about.

Find motivation in them, and it will carry you a lifetime. Running every hill comes with purpose and can result in contagious happiness.

My brother gave the eulogy at his friend’s funeral, and it was my proudest moment as his brother. It was perfect and reflected not only his friendship with his passed friend, but with the legend of generosity he bequeathed to all who knew him. My brother’s speech, and the moment as a whole, made me realize that with good vision, we can all see the end. With better vision, we can see everything in between. Life is more important than death, and so I will spend it doing what I love. Life is much like our marathon’s motto, “Worth the hurt.”

Every life ends, and this makes us lucky—we have perspective. While we breathe, our lives are ours to love, and the sweat we invest makes each day beautiful.

Eric Jorgensen is a magazine editor and blogger from the Kansas City-metro. He once had a Coca-Cola commercial made about him for being one of the craziest college basketball fans in the country, which he still is (Rock Chalk). He has run a road race is full hipster garb, and has yet to drown during a triathlon. His first marathon was the 2011 San Francisco Marathon, which he live-Tweeted. Friend him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.