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Passion, not to be confused with Obsession
By Gunnar Anderson
“That seems like a bit much,” said your coworker. “You should spend some of that time with me,” said your significant other. “You’re obsessed,” said your friend. “You never come out with us anymore,” said your other friend. Do these sound familiar? I hear them all the time. Living a life dedicated to fitness is by no means an easy thing to do. Add the harsh judgement and skepticism from people in your life and it becomes even harder. When you feel the pressure from friends and society weighing in on your mind and disrupting your vision, it is important to take a moment to remember that this is your passion.
We live a strange lifestyle. Why do we wake up an hour early to make sure we can cook a quality breakfast instead of going to McDonalds on the way to work? Why do we spend hours prepping healthy meals instead of going out to eat? Why do we insist on getting an hour to two hours a day in the gym? These habits are weird to someone who doesn’t live our lifestyle. To an outsider, this passion of ours looks like an obsession.
While some people in our lives will share our enthusiasm, or at the very least understand it, don’t expect everyone to accept it. The ones who see your lifestyle as an unhealthy obsession are the ones that will be the naysayers. If your goal is to become a Cross Fit Champion, they will tell you it’s unrealistic. If your goal is to become Mr. Olympia, they will say there’s no way. To them, these champions are almost figures of mythology. They can’t comprehend one of them being in their everyday lives simply because they have no idea how to become one. However, we do know how. For us these goals are realistic because we know exactly what we have to do in order to achieve them, or at least try our best. We know how to feed our bodies the proper nutrition. We know how to train the correct way. We know how to supplement our bodies with what our diet lacks. They do not.
I say “they” not to create a divide between fitness freaks and average Joe’s, but simply to accentuate the difference in the two lifestyles. Any average Joe could become a fitness freak at any given time. All it takes is that initial desire to achieve a fitness goal. But for the majority of the time we fitness people find ourselves surrounded by average folks living average lifestyles. There’s nothing wrong with this, it just isn’t what I choose to do.
I have a genuine passion for fitness. I am fascinated with how my body responds to workouts and diets. I love watching muscles grow, develop and mature. I love beating personal goals. I even love spending time in the gym! I sit in a cubicle from 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. I am truly blessed to have something to look forward to everyday after work other than just going home. People who don’t share the same outlook will view it as a narcissistic obsession, but it isn’t even close. It is a passion. I am just as passionate about this sport as an Olympic athlete is about theirs. For now it is just a lifestyle, but come my time to compete, it has the potential to grow into much, much more.