Find what you love: A story of passion


As an athlete and simply a competitive person by nature, I’ve had to take some time recently and reflect on why I am the way I am. I can play a friendly game of Scrabble, and end up throwing letters of the alphabet across the table in spasms of excitement over the four-letter word I just concocted. FLUF. Yes, I realize this is not an English word, but I’ll try to make it one.

Skills and competitive nature are both great qualities to have in life, but what I question is where is the passion and motivation behind acts of competition. In other words, it’s much easier to learn a skill and maximize that skill to greatness, but it’s much harder to dig up the motivation and passion needed to succeed.

Having taken the time to reflect on my position in life, I’ve come to the realization that it is so important to have passion and purpose. To take that dedication to the next level, to bridge that gap between doing it to do it, and doing it because you love it. With this, I’ve also learned that without passion, you are simply just living life; you are not living life to your full potential.

On a recent trip to the Hawaiian Islands, I met the owner of a Crossfit gym. (I was in desperate need of a good workout; too many maih taihs and shaved ice bowls). For those of you who do not know what Crossfit is, it’s basically crazy weight lifting, with crazy movements all put together in a circuit-style workout for time. Its tough!

The owner of the gym was a big guy from Arizona. Probably in his mid-thirties, married with two kids; he seemed to be living the good life. I finished my workout and introduced myself afterwards. Our conversation kept getting interrupted by the comings and goings of the gym patrons; he was obviously a very busy guy being the only one there running the place. I finally got the question in, why did you come to Hawaii for Crossfit?

I knew Crossfit was the up and coming thing back on the mainland, so why move to an island where it’s sure to be a much smaller participation level? His response, “I wanted a more simple life.” The owner went on explaining how fast he felt his life was moving back in Arizona. He had met his wife in college and they both worked in the corporate business world. He explained that he was feeling depressed and anxious all the time and the only time he felt at ease and happy was when he was in his local Crossfit gym working out. It was an escape for him. He decided to make that escape his passion and began his certification classes to teach Crossfit. One day, he quit his job and decided to go on a whim and move to the islands with his wife to start up his own gym.

He poured everything he had into the small 1500 square foot building. Everything was on the line for his wife and him. They both were jobless essentially and tapped out on money. He explained that while he was worried about the outcome, he knew he had made the right choice. He was happy, he was doing something that he felt passionate about and today, his gym is a very successful small business.

His story has made me take this look into my own life. While I do not believe you can teach someone passion like you can a skill, I do believe that you can be influenced. As an athlete or just someone living life, you can take note of the things you love to do, what makes you get out of bed in the morning, what makes you go out and face the day? But, as you are reading this, you may come to the realization that what you are doing day to day as a good athlete or person, you may not have that drive that will make you reach your full potential, and that’s ok.

You simply have to find it. Yes, it’s easier said than done, but think of it this way. If you are a runner who goes out everyday and runs and competes in half marathons and marathons, yet you can not seem to get that training schedule out of your mind and fuse it with thoughts of things you would rather be doing; you simply may not love running. Running is simply an example, and this can pertain to any faucet in life. Not loving what you are doing is not a good or bad thing, but it can be the deciding factor of what makes you stay with that sport or motive longer.

Finally, I leave you with a quote I found and love, those who truly have the spirit of champions are never wholly happy with an easy win. Half the satisfaction stems from knowing that it was the time and effort you invested that led to your high achievement.” This said by Nicole Haislett , a three-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer.

Passionate people can understand this and do not stop something until that have successfully completed it. There are no excuses for failure when you have passion; everything you have in you is driven forward by the sheer will and determination you have for the sport, the action, and the moment. Each time you are unsuccessful, you learn a lesson and can only achieve higher.

Photo Credit:


Lahaina Crossfit

About the JOY Coach

Natalie Greenberg

Most of Natalie’s life she enjoyed the hustle and bustle of her swimming career – traveling, morning workouts, afternoon workouts, coaching, and mentoring young kids to follow in the footsteps of other professional swimmers. After deciding to finally retire from competitive swimming, she took on a new venture, personal training. The inspiration came to her from all the training tips and methods of her conditioning coach during college swimming. It was an easy transition to take the motivation and passion of competing and staying healthy and reflecting that into others’ lives. Today, Natalie is an avid triathlete and still enjoys motivating others in areas of health and fitness. She is happily married to a man who also shares her passion for fitness in the new up and coming sport of Crossfit. Together they are regulars in their local box (aka gym). Natalie is a Certified Personal Trainer, NCCPT and a Key Leader at Lululemon.

Read The Comments Or Add Yours