Find Your Passion

 In Weekly Forum Discussion

One of my blog mates demonstrated her passion last weekend. She ran the Ultra-Marathon 100-mile race. The sheer act of training and showing up at the race is victory! Watch this video to feel the passion and joy in how she is living her life.

As the day approached for Sherri’s 100 mile race, I reflected back to my second year of college when a friend of mine convinced me that we should run daily. We were both attending East Stroudsburg College in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. There was gorgeous scenery outdoors and for the icy, snowy, winter months, we had an indoor, state of the art track. We also had trainers who could advise and help us. We committed to running together during the nine months and we did it! I broke through barriers to challenge myself and run farther. But, here is the truth. What I learned during that time is that I don’t like to run. I didn’t feel good while I was running and my body felt terrible afterwards. I never found a sweet spot of fulfillment. It didn’t matter that in 1977 The Complete Book of Running by Jim Fixx inspired 25 million people to run. It didn’t matter that my dad was running and encouraging us all to run. I felt so much relief when that commitment was over. It was a nagging pressure all year long. What I discovered is that running is not my thing. My favorite physical activities are dancing, Tai Chi, hiking and yoga. Physical exercise is important. Sherri has found hers and I have tuned in to mine.

My take-away from watching and being inspired by Sherri is to find ways to be alive and challenge myself. Did you watch her video? Joy, laughter, and fulfillment ooze from her veins. That is what I strive for in my life. Challenges come in all sizes, in all different packages. Just because Sherri is a trail runner doesn’t mean I have to give up and settle for someone else’s passion. Sherri has found her passion. That is what she is demonstrating for all of us. She didn’t start running until she was 50, and she doesn’t have the stereotypical body of a runner. Has any of that stopped her? No! And from the little bit I know about Sherri, she is cheering for all of us to find our passions.

Ask yourself what passion is awakening in you and follow that! Watch Sherri’s video a few times and connect with the thing that brings you that much joy and laughter, and challenge and fulfillment. Try things, and fail and succeed. Learn new things about yourself.

A couple of things I have noticed is that as human beings limit ourselves when we compare ourselves to others instead of being inspired by each other.

I have two such stories from my own life. The first is when I was home-schooling my children. It was amazing how many people would either judge me as wrong, or who would apologize for not home-schooling their kids. My response to both groups of people was, “Isn’t it wonderful that we have so many choices with different ways to educate our children?” It is up to each family to find the thing that works for each child, in each situation. Even with home schooling there are so many different ways to provide a learning environment for your child!

The second story is my current lifestyle; I have lived house-free for four years. I house-sit and pet-sit, and live with family and friends. These are all people who are a part of my community, and people who I have met on Trusted Housesitters, a member site exchanging resources of time and housing. I receive all kinds of different reactions to this. Some people see it as an amazing adventure. Other people judge me and ask when I will settle down and have a “normal” life. Other people are inspired, but they tell me they can never live this way. I go through my own ups and downs with it because it is different. There are challenges and there are triumphs!

Now, let’s turn the focus back to Sherri and cheer her on with her passion for trail running! Go, Sherri, go! I’m cheering you on in many races to come.

Written by: Andrea Hylen; Heal My Voice

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