What is Your Passion?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
For many of us when we embarked on this journey we succumbed to the notion that the best and quickest way to lose the weight was to participate in whatever exercise we needed in order to get the weight off as quickly as possible. It didn’t matter if it was an activity we enjoyed, it was just like taking medicine—you may not like it, but you knew you would get some benefit along the way. Therefore, like the Nike ad suggest we all need to JUST DO IT!

When people ask me how I got into running I tell them that it evolved over time. In fact running actually was an activity I always wanted to participate in, but I just never had the courage to do so until well after the first year of my journey. Before I even considered running I had to get my heart, lungs, and body adapted to exercise period.

So like many of you, I started out with small pockets of exercise. Doing more than ten minutes on the elliptical was about all I could physically manage. I was so unfit that my body just could not handle much more then this. Over time, however, I was able to go a little longer each week and not feel as though I was going to collapse after every session. Within 9 months, the challenge of working out came to a standstill. I was no longer seeing the results on the scale. I had hit the dreaded plateau.

What I have concluded is that if you do not continually challenge the body to work as hard today as the day you started your journey, your body will adapt to the exercise. That is what the body wants and desires--a state of homeostasis or balance. Therefore, your body will not require the same number of calories for the task at hand that you needed when you first started exercising. This is not a bad thing, unless you look at exercise as punishment and not something you enjoy.

Consequently, I turned to running. While I was not a runner from the onset, I did start with walking and slowly added in more and more minutes of running over a period of time. Within 3 months, I ran my first race on March 25, 2006, over 13 months after I started this journey. Since that time I have participated in well over 60 races and last Saturday I took the plunge to run the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 11, 2009.

Finding a passion is what allows many of us to stay on this journey, whether that passion is running, walking, ice skating, or even strength training. When we develop a passion for the exercise that we do, many of us will be more determined to find ways to fit these activities into our schedule. Not only does exercise help keep our hearts strong, our bodies strong, but it also increases the serotonin in our brains to help us think better and feel better about who we are. And I think it helps us all build more confidence to take on tasks we never imagined ourselves doing before we started this journey.

What is your passion? Do you have an exercise goal in your future? What are you doing today that you never saw yourself doing before this journey?

Photo of Nancy running in her first 5K of the Fall 2008 running season.

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DANCING!!! I will try all classes! Currently I am THRIVING in zumba (even thinking about taking the course to become an instructor) and ADDICTED to cumbia (have been using videos off of youtube to learn).
I also love just walking leisurely or hiking and yoga. Report
Daily exercise bike in front of tv, and dancing to music from when I was young, 1950's, 1960's, and 1970's, clogging, polka, salsa, belly dancing. Fun!!! That's the key, at least for me. Report
I think my passion is just working out everyday. But if I had to choise one thing it would be weight training. I lose all track of time when I am doing weights. Going from one exercise to the next. Love to challenge myself and moving on to heavier weights. Have to say there is a part of me that gets a bit of joy when the 49 year old 250lb women is lifting the same weights as the younger men are. Report
Fitness, which includes exercise (haven't missed a day in 2009) in various disciplines, as well as managing my weight (lost more than 110 pounds and maintained it with ups and downs over a period of 10 years, before I came on Spark and before such sites really existed to this extent), is one of my passions.

Btw, the picture of Nancy Howard running is quite inspiring. She looks very fit and happy. That is how I always want to be from now until far in the future I leave this earth. Report
Over 70 lbs and six years ago, I would refuse to even take a walk.

Then, I saw some adults rehearsing for a tap dance recital. I had always wanted to learn tap, so I enrolled for a summer class with a bunch of teens (I was 62 and weighed about 220).

I fell in love with dance (though it was hard that summer), and I've been taking dance classes ever since. I always take tap, since I love it the most, but I also, at times, study ballet, hip hop, and jazz. Right now, it's tap and hip hop.

This will be my 4th year on the senior dance team, Seniorgee. We perform hip hop at Milwaukee Bucks basketball games once a month, during basketball season. What a blast! Thousands of cheering fans on their feet! I never dreamed I could do something like this. Doing the "happy dance" is my passion. Rock on! Report
My passion is swimming. I could be in the water 24/7! Report
I love running now. I started running in April. I have done 5 (5k) I got inspired by two co workers and The Biggest Loser. I was so inspired I did my first half marathon on10/17/09 in 3hrs12min11secs. It felt amazing to be able to accomplish something so big. I am sore it is well worth it. I will do 3-4 more half marathon before I do a full one. It is just so amazing. I just amazes me that I can even run. I was never athletic in high school and could never run very good. Now I am accomplish things that I thought was impossible. I decided to get healthy and pick up exercise 2 years ago. Although i have only lost 30 lbs and went from size 20-14 It gave me the confidence to try running and racing. Report
I have a lot of passions- I love to read (more than I like chocolate even), I love teaching high school(even after 30 years) and I love love love Zumba!!! I think that I have been dancing since I could walk but never felt thin enough to do anything with my dance passion. With Zumba I am able to let my danceself out and with my Zumba club at the hs I get to share it with others.

Nice side benefit-I am developing a waist!!! Woo Hoo!!! Report
Walking has been my passion for about two years now. When I first started I weighed 270 pounds and could barely walk a block! I can walk for miles now without stopping. My husband started to walk with me 2 months ago. He is a former Marine and after we would walk together he would run. Well I have finally taken the big plunge and started to run. It is a "baby" jog right now and I am SO excited. Of course I feel like I am literally going to die or knock myself out trying but hey I'm just "doing it!" I know in time just like mastering walking I WILL be a runner. I've got the faith and the motivation! Thank you for being a source of that motivation. Report
My passion is dance...any type...I have been dancing since I was 3 years old..as I grew older I tried different styles. Over the past 3 years I just completely stopped, gained weight and now I am working out. Funny enough without thinking about it I started to take zumba oncea week at my gym . Now I take it 3 times a week and I am getting my love for dance in again. I hope to eventually be right back into dance full time. I just love it. It is a great workout to dance! Report
My passion has become hiking!!! I just love it, but have found I can't do more than one trek a week, with regular walks in between. Thought I am in great shape, still my age is against me, and my stamina is not there, that I would have if I were 20 years younger! Report
Hi my name is Christina, and iam in a similar situation..I never thought as myself as the running type, but after haveing my second child the weight just wasnt comeing off as fast as it use to..So started running. It was hard at first, but then i got use to it after awhile..Now i love it and i run every chance i get, hopeing one of these days i too can run a marathon..Choosing to run was the best decision i've ever made..Its amazeing how great it actually makes you feel..I am working my way up.. Report
* What is your passion?
Ha! This question keeps popping up at me this, my Summer of Searching, when I'm trying to figure out who I am & what I want to do (again!). Still trying to figure that one out. But in the fitness context, that's easy. I love to hike. Life is best w/ a pack on my back, trekking poles in my hands, & a great, big mtn (or waterfall or ... anything natural!) in front of me.

I also enjoy playing tennis & doing step aerobics. Step is fun for me (I know some people hate it, which is why there are only 12 or so folks in my class). I enjoy the choreography.

* Do you have an exercise goal in your future?
I have a couple of local goal hikes this summer, but no "event" like a race or anything. I wanted to run. Oh, how I wanted to run! But it just isn't for me.

* What are you doing today that you never saw yourself doing before this journey?
I've always been a hiker, but I'm going higher & farther than I could have before. I just bought a water bottle from the Desolation Wilderness ranger station in Lake Tahoe that says: "Altitude - Solitude - Attitude." I've always called hiking "walking w/ altitude." There is no way I could have done those Desolation hikes a couple of yrs ago & I want to do more! I don't want a trail to ever "beat" me, y'know? (but there are lots that are still out of my reach, & that's OK)

Re: "What I have concluded is that if you do not continually challenge the body to work as hard today as the day you started your journey, your body will adapt to the exercise."
Now that is the challenge, isn't it? *Continually* challenging your body. When I was trying to run, I noticed I wasn't "pushing" it. I wasn't challenging my body, but almost relaxing into its comfort zone. When I hike, I do like to push it (w/ appropriate photo breaks, of course!). I want to get that work-out while enjoying the scenery & the surroundings. If it's flat, I like to go fast. If it's up, I take it a little easier, for endurance, & like to see how far I can get w/o needing to stop, & then go a little farther & then a little farther.

I'm still looking for my passion in life & praying that God will reveal it to me. At least I have found my exercise passion. Maybe I should just accept it all one step at a time.
I so agree about finding exercise you like. If I don't like it or it is a core, why will I keep doing it for life? And doing this for life is what spark is all aobut isn't it?

Love it or leave it! That's my motto! Report
I also ran my first 5K last year and have developed a love of running. After some traumatic events in my life last year, running got lost, but thank you for adding to some new motivation to get going again. :) My goal is to ultimately run a marathon. Report
Gentle yoga (pre-beginner's level) is my passion. It is both something that I can do and it helps with pain management. Report
My passion is anything that makes me sweat. When I'm working out hard enough to feel the sweat roll down my back, it doesn't matter what it is, I'm loving it.

My goals are numerous, run a 5k under 29 min., run my September 10k in under an hour, run my October 1/2 marathon in less than 2 hr. 15 min. then ramp up to run the Flying Pig Marathon in May 2010.

The running, cycling, weightlifting, kickboxing...2 years ago I would have never dreamed I would be doing these things and enjoying them so much. The most activity I got before was "running" from the couch to the fridge.

My life is SOOOO much better. Report
I have not found my passion yet but through this website I have learned not to let my size whole me back from doing things I want to do.Yesterday I went rock climbing. I never would have done that a couple of months ago because I would have focused on how big my butt looked climbing the wall. So I am still trying to find my passion one activitiy at a time. Next I will try racquet ball. Yea me Report
My passions in exercise are DANCING, (esp belly dancing & latin dancing) and YOGA...none of which I am good at now :)...but I LOVE THEM!!!! ....Turbo Jam looks good too...I'm definately gonna try that. All the DANCEROBICS I would do even when I dont need to lose weight anymore, and yoga makes me feel GRRRRREAT. I can do these for a lifetime and never get bored. Report
today i am starting the www.hundredpushups.com challenge, where you build yourself up over 6 weeks from any starting point to do 100 consecutive pushups at the end of the 6 weeks. At this point, i can do only 5 girl-pushups. I've been on SP and exercising regularly for a month and a half and im ready to step it up a notch to find a real true challenge... wish me luck!!!! Report
currently I am doing step aerobics, elyptical and I love power walking. My goal last year was to participate in a 5K with my son (13) and his middle school, it is a local beneit run that benefits down syndrome. The school with the most partcipants win train tickets Union Station in Washington, DC. his school has won for the most years. I did finish the race last year. I am an asthmatic. This was big goal. I would like to do better than just finish. I don't know if that is possible but I will keep trying! Report
RIding dressage. The precision and partnership required with my horse is a real high. The big plus from my weight loss so far has been my body making this precision and body control more and more possible.

I can't imagine my life without Falcao. He is my exercise, my confidant, my dance partner. Report
My passion is anything that has to do with creativity, but I have fantasize about doing a triathalon. However, I have never even done a 5k or any race of the kind. Report
My goal is to stay in shape as long as I can and eventually do body building composition when my son is older. Report
I love to workout. I am addicted. I think there are worse things to be addicted too, so I can't complain. I am very much into spinning and would love to get certified as an instructor. That is my goal for 2009!! Report
My passion is volleyball! I've been playing for over 20 years and still love it. I continue to learn new things and feel I'm actually getting better. Part of it is self confidence. When I was on my high school and college teams, I was so worried about doing a good job and getting playing time, I stressed out and played poorly. Now when I play 2-3 times a week, I just try to do my best. This year I even started coaching - 15 year old girls are a challenge, but I completely remember what it felt like at that age so hopefully I can convince them that being themselves and having fun is the best way to do well at your passion. Report
My fitness passion is running. It inspires me in all I do. I love the moments in running when I feel like I am flying. They don't come every minute (and typically never in the first mile) but when they do, I feel wonderful. Report
My passion is riding dressage. I think it's the only sport in the world that you work like hell to make it look like you're doing nothing. You have to be both mentally and physically fit to with stand the rigors of the sport/art. I love being in the fresh air and the bond that my horse and I have. This year winter has been hard...it's still snowing and we haven't been above freezing since I can remember...however, spring is coming and I'll be back out there with my 17 hand "pony" getting ready for our first season of schooling shows. Report
Thanks so much for this. I keep forgetting (conveniently enough) to pick something I like for exercise. I am sure I am not the only one to have fallen into that trap.... I SO want to run a 5Km again, I used to do this regularly before my first child, but that now seems SO long ago. That is my goal for next year! Just have to work away a bit at a time so I can get to the point of being able to run even a few minutes first.....
Starting small :) Report
I think to choose my "passion" it would be simply working out. Whether running, strength training, taking classes - I love it all.

What am I doing now that I never before considered? Well, I did a triathlon, for one. I never had even thought about doing that before! I am also starting to think about getting my PT certification from ACE. Report
When I was younger my passion was rollerskating, now the rink closed. When I read this... what IS my passion now, I'd have to say aerobics and step aerobics has taken its place. Thanks for letting me think this though! Report
I love to lift weights! Report
I love to swim, but the only pool in town is the YMCA, and I haven't been able to afford a membership.

I've been borrowing videos from the library. My latest fad is learning Latin dances. I'd love to join a class, if I can find one.

When the weather improves, I will get back outside more, tend my yard, plant a garden, do some walking, hiking, and canoeing near my home . Meanwhile, I stick with workout videos and Pilates at home. Report
Swimming is my passion, there is something about the water! I hope to surf one day oh I cant wait! Report
Trail running. I've tried the road running thing before, and it never quite did it for me - but being out on a trail ... softer ground for my poor arthritic knees, shade for the heat in Austin, birds, creeks ... it totally does it for me and I see it as a beautiful break in my workday. Also - I'm getting fit. I can't believe I have found something after ALL of these years that makes exercise a joy instead of a chore. Report
Spinning and cycling are my passions. I love being on a bike indoors or outdoor. I love walking too. I walk everywhere. It's incredibly relaxing for me.

So, what am I doing now that I never expected myself doing ?

I work part time as an aerobics instructor and personal trainer. If you had asked me five years ago where I would be, that's the last place I would have said.

But, here I am. An opportunity arose and I took advantage of it. Deciding to become an instructor was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

I love teaching.

Walking is my passion, and if it weren't for a bad ankle I think it would evolve into running. I find myself wanting to go faster and farther and to work harder. Someday I will have to have surgery on the ankle (but not until the weight is off). Who knows what will happen after that...............................
....... Report
I started cycling 8 months ago, and that has become a passion. I ride my bike to work, and I HATE when I have to drive for some reason.

I also have a budding passion for rock climbing, which I just started doing a month ago. Oh and I love hiking and kayaking, but I only get to do those occasionally since I don't own a kayak and our mountains are covered in snow 9 months out of the year. Report
What is your passion?
Do you have an exercise goal in your future?
I keep saying that "one day" I'd like to participate in a 5K -- but honestly not willing to TRAVEL to attend one!
What are you doing today that you never saw yourself doing before this journey?
Running --- without having an accident, if you knowutimean! : O Report
One of my dreams was to run a marathon. Last year, I ran the flying pig marathon in Cincinnati. I am now trying to increase my speed and have a new goal - to qualify for Boston. To do this, I need to run an average of an 8:30 mile for my age group. I would like to qualify in 2010 for the 2011 marathon. Report
walking is my passion! I walk to work and back (about 1 mile each way) 4 times daily, and every time I am out I see something new. I enjoy the sights and sounds along the way, it is by far the best part of my work day. Report
Running and lately swimming. I am currently training for my second marathon, with the goal of a better time. I also started swimming with a master's team. I so enjoy swimming, that I no longer know whether I am a runner with a swimming problem or a swimmer with a running problem...lol! I guess this is a good dilemma to have! Report
My passion is my family. Five of us trained last year with Team in Training raised money for Lukemia research and ran a marathon. It was a great experience. Report
I also love running. I started in August of 2008, just slowly and 2 months later I participated in my first 5k run at age 50. It was so thrilling when I crossed the finish line.
So, yes, find your passion. Report
I walk about a mile a day but my biggest love is reading from my Holy Bible everyday even any time available to me so I used the different videos available to to help me on my new found journey in losing and maintaining this weight lost in 2009. Report
I've always wanted to be a swimmer. I was "too big" for swimming lessons by the time I realized that (imagine being 10 years old, 5' and about 120lbs and in a class with 6 year olds). I never got the courage to go back!
This summer I'm going to do it. I already missed sign up deadlines for Spring, but as soon as I finish school for the year I'm signing up for adult swim lessons at the local YMCA. I'm scared, and I'm self conscious, but I have always wanted to swim. For the first time in 12 years I feel like I can put on a swimsuit and do it! Report
I love to walk. The motivation is that we see things that are often missed by whizzing by or scenery that can only be reached by walking. My goal is to do the Santiago Pilgrimage in Europe towards the end of next year. Report
Ah, passion ... I'm a Gemini, and true to what they say about us, I've had many passions in my lifetime ... probably the longest running fitness-related one was tennis. I thought I'd once again found another into my first 6-9 months here at Sparks, thanks to the Virtual Racing team ... but I seem to have run into the dreaded plateau? boredom? or life's burn-outs? -- obviously I haven't quite figured out what the deal is ... and I refuse to say that I'm getting old! LOL ... Report
Good for you! I have never been a runner always a walker. I walked the New York Marathan in 5:38. I was one of the best feelings in my life crossing the finish line. Most people that I was a bit crazy since I was a walker and that is normally a distance that is walked but I didn't care.

Just follow a good training schedule for the marathon and you will do very well. I don't know if Chicago puts out a training schedule but New York does and it works very well - my friends were all runners and trained without injury with the schedule.

I would love to repeat but I can't walk for exercise because of an injury to I'm working around it - maybe cycling.

Well good running!!! Report