Hope is a Verb

Amy Downs survived the Oklahoma City bombing, lost over 200 pounds of body weight and completed an Iron Man. She is now a motivational speaker.

I was wondering through the You Tube wasteland when I came across a documentary on the OKC bombing. Amy Downs was interviewed. I looked her up on the web and bought her book. I need some motivation, a swift kick in the ass to get me going. I thought maybe her book will do that for me.

She says, “I was about to die and realized I had never truly lived”.

Her story of rescue was vivid enough to place yourself in her position, hanging upside down for over six hours wedged between concrete rubble. While there, she wondered if she ever had lived now that she was on her way to death. She promised to live if she didn’t die.

After her rescue, she began to lose weight, had a baby, found the joy of cycling, went back to college eventually earning a Masters, trained for an Iron Man triathlon, became the CEO of a credit union and divorced her husband and married again.


You can’t help but be motivated by her. She has certainly taken the lemon of her life before the OKC bombing and made sweet lemonade after.

I’ve read many motivation books and know the formula for ‘success’. Set achievable goals, take steps to work toward those goals. Amy gives many examples of doing that. Thankfully, however, her book is not preachy about it.

I used to cycle. My second ex wife and I had a tandem bike that we rode for many miles, the Hilly Hundred being the highlight of an Indiana cycling season. I bought my first ex wife a bike but it was never used. Cycling was important to me back in that day. Maybe I will buy a new bike in this Day.

Amy believes that Hope is something that is actionable, a verb, something you live day to day in your life. “Live the dream”, she would probably say. “Dream big” she would add.

I appreciate Amy Downs and her book. Maybe I have taken her advice and set an achievable goal by spending 30 minutes a day ‘practicing’ on the graphics tablet. It a small step toward what I ‘hope’ is a deeply satisfying world of personal creative fulfillment.

Here’s a list of practical things I would like to be motivated to do :

  • Finish the ‘mulch containment’ lawn edging system for the south half of the back yard. I’ve already started but dropped the ball.
  • Plant sunflowers before it is too late.
  • Build another sunflower planting box.
  • Finish the ‘office’ space I started, made progress but dropped the ball.

Here’s a list of other practical things I would like to do … someday:

  • Put in a new kitchen, with new cabinets, new appliances, the way I would like the kitchen to be.
  • Put in a new garage floor, one of those epoxy coated jobs. Plus, put up new drywall to cover up the crumbling plaster, maybe put in a wall of storage cabinets, put that old VW in storage.
  • Put in new flooring in the family room, get rid of that desk, maybe put in new book cases.
  • Remodel one of the bedrooms upstairs and maybe use as my new bedroom. Will need to replace the carpet, fix the dry wall, paint. Probably will need to put in a new heating and cooling system for the upstairs as it is so hot or cold up there.

Amy ends her book by crossing the line at the Iron Man. She had the Hope. It was inspirational.

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