Monday, September 5, 2011

My Inspiring Friends: Daniel

I was in 9th grade, excited and terrified about my first ever theatrical role as Violet Beauregaurde in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Daniel was in 11th grade, and had been cast as Mike Teavee. I had no idea then that ten years down the road this kind, welcoming fellow castmate would be one of my best friends, truest supporters and closest confidants. 

Fitness-wise, Daniel's a pretty inspiring fellow. He ran a marathon BY HIMSELF, looping his block until he racked up 26.2 miles. He's gotten me through TWO Tough Mudders and is currently killing it in the weight room- pushing personal boundaries and continuing to strive for greatness. 

 Daniel and I after the Allentown, PA Tough Mudder in May 2010. 

 Daniel kindly obliging me and competing as Mr. Greater NYC (when I was Miss Greater NYC) in the Mr. NY fundraiser for the Miss NY Scholarship Program. 

Daniel and I excitedly awaiting the Tri-State Tough Mudder in November 2010- lucky #'s 5674 and 5675!

My pageant chaperone! Daniel and I in the audience cheering on my sister as she competed for (and won!) Miss Fulton County 2011. 

Daniel has been a true source of support, inspiration, love and friendship for most of my teenage and adult life (not only to me, but to my sisters and mother as well). He's quite possibly the most selfless person I know- a sentiment shared by anyone privileged enough to call him a friend. We were so honored this past April to have Daniel as a part of our wedding party--he definitely pulled his weight, chauffeuring, running errands and keeping me from freaking out (which he's very, very good at).

Daniel recently posted the following note, and I was eager to share with you all. This resonated with me on many levels, including training, school and self-transformation. 

"New beginnings are an integral part of life- any life and all life. As soon as we take that first step in a new direction, as soon as our foot falls on new unfamilair ground, the process of change has begun and we must charge forward with daring confidence and an accepting acknowledgement of the challenges that are to come. If life truly falls in phases, then the process of starting each successive one initiates us into an unknown world, rife with possibilities and ripe for conquest. Obstacles arise to be overcome, trials to be faced, hardships to be stormed through, while opportunities present themselves with rewards to be grasped and joys to be blessed by. Our fortitude in the face of these situations forges us into the conquerers we were meant to be by vaulting our resolve into the stratosphere of human capabilities. This then stands as the testament in this world of what we can accomplish, and the heights to which the driven human spirit can soar.Thus has my own journey's divergence taken me, where now I stand on the cusp of a new epoch, staring fearlessly into a field of flames, prepared to tread the merciless embers and crush cinders beneath my feet; the unstoppable fireproof wanderer, moving with purpose so that even the flames flee before me. I dare you to try to stop me."

--Daniel Cimino

Who in your life inspires you? Why?