According to dictionary.com the word passion is defined as “any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate”. That and eleven other definitions.
As I grow older and wiser by the day, I have learned a lot of different things. Running has clarified a lot of what I have learned; be it about sports or life in general. I think that what I have learned the most through my running is something that has driven me throughout my entire life. Only recently, however, has it crystallized for me. I have learned that it is passion that is the driving force behind what we do. Without it, we are wasting our time. George Sheehan wrote an amazing article entitled “Why Do I Run?” that is a classic article that all runners should read. The message contained in it is about passion. All of us, runners and non-runners should ask ourselves that very question. Why do I ______ (insert what you’re doing here)? If you can’t partially answer that question with the response, “It is something I’m passionate about”, then you should move onto something that does make you passionate.
I have long been a proponent that motivation is something that has to come from within. External forces like other people or music or situations can only motivate you so much. Your motivation has to come largely from within. And it is my belief that passion is the fuel for that fire. Why do you do anything that you do? It’s a critical question.
I run because I have a goal. That oft-stated goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Plain and simple. I use this blog to help my personal motivation. I realize that in all honesty, those who may stumble across this blog or be a regular reader to it, could probably care less about my situation. Perhaps you are reading this to fuel your motivation. I don’t know. But I do know that I am passionate about running. I am passionate about teaching, my job, officiating, umpiring and all the things that I do in my life. When I golf I want to be the best I can be. When I am organizing an event at work or changing a process or negotiating a contract I want to do the best I can do. Why? Because I am passionate about it.
I believe that far too many people who roam this great planet have lost that passion about what they are doing. They are easy to recognize. They are the ones complaining about something all the time. They want to take the easy road to success (don’t get me started on success…that definition could take months to dissect). My point is, too many people feel stuck and place themselves in that position. Instead of finding what they can be passionate about or look for ways to improve their situations by being excited about something, they would rather blame someone else or some other circumstance for where they are. I feel sorry for these people. Have I figured it all out? No, not even close. But I do feel that through running I have become a more complete person. I feel that through running I have been able to put a lot of everything else in my life into perspective. I have learned perhaps, that it is all about the passion and recognizing that when it’s not there, it’s time to move on. I am certain that someday my running days will be over. But for now, the fire still burns. And that fire has a name.