My coach sent me a message on Facebook this morning. It was a simple question, just 5 little words:
“What are you passionate about?”
Holy Crap …
What a loaded question.
It’s actually a question I have asked myself a lot over the years, and the hard part of the question for me is being honest. I can play the game and say the usual responses:
“I am passionate about my work”
“I am passionate about my training”
“I am passionate about my family, the loves I have in my life, my grandchildren”
Yes. I could say those things, but as far as this blog goes, I have been using it to not only chronicle the journey I have been on in triathlon, but also to serve as a way to think hard about the person I have been in the past, the person I am, and the person I want to become in the relatively short time I have left on this planet.
I think it depends on your definition of “passion” and “passionate”. The definition of “passionate” is:
I got a few messages through Facebook in response to MY response which revolved around the same message, basically “from reading your blog and posts I’d say you’re passionate about triathlon and fitness”. Maybe I am more passionate than even I give myself credit for, but I think my passion for it is seeded in the belief and idea of triathlon and fitness. My passions usually revolve around these type of things, like I am passionate in my beliefs about childhood obesity, about the care of veterans, about cancer detection and research, about gun control (not anti-gun. There’s a difference.), about those that have should help those that are in need. But these passions, while important, are not what I think about when asked the question KC asked me.
I think it relates to time management and the ability to engage in a pursuit that you WANT to be a passion. As bad as it sounds, when I was unemployed in 2011 it was right at the beginning of this pursuit, and man was I passionate about it then. What’s the difference? I had all the time in the world to train. I would get up at 5:30, get my son’s ass out of bed and to school, drive over to Starbucks and send resumes until 12, then go home, change, grab my bike, or gym bag, go train, and still be home in time to have a good relaxing night. It was great, with the exception of bankruptcy and almost losing my house. Other than that it was perfect.
So I guess part of losing the passion is being besieged with responsibilities outside of training that sometimes you have to choose the lesser of two evils (to use a phrase) in order to maintain harmony. When the training becomes less of a joyous thing, and more of a “task” that needs to be done, then the passion wanes. Maybe that’s what is happening to me now? So, this is why I have the blog. I rarely sit down knowing everything I am going to write. Oh, I have a vague idea, usually centered around a title that I thought sounded good or interesting, but never a full blown, rounded out idea. I just do a brain dump onto the computer and see what comes out. Probably why it comes out sounding disjointed at times. Today it was the question posed by KC, and even more so her reaction to it, that made me sit and ponder the response I gave and why I gave it. The data dump worked in this case. Much like an addiction, or a fault, the first step is to know you have it and the second is to accept it, so you can then deal with it. I have mentioned this before, and I know it sounds like an excuse KC (because I know you are reading this), it has become easy for me to lose the passion because there is no one counting on me to meet them after work for the training. It has become easier to let the outside influences take over the passion I once felt for getting the training done ( and I am not the only one … as Jenny how late she has been working the last two weeks).
So, now it has been identified, it’s time to recapture it.