They say to find your true passion in life you need look no further than your childhood. Oprah, for example, as a little girl supposedly lined up her dolls and interviewed them.
For me, as a child, I was always on my bike. I have SO many stories about biking – I actually could write a book about them. (Which, someday I intend to do.)
I’m grateful that while there were many years I didn’t ride, eventually, my passion for biking came back to my adult life.
Freedom Feels Like Flying
The earliest story I remember was from Sunset Park, a campground on Cross Lake in Central NY where we spent many weekends during the summer. The campsites were mostly on the water, and the general store and rec center was at the top of a steep hill. One year, our campsite was at the bottom of that hill. One day, my Grandma Betty and I rode our bikes to the store, and we had to push our bikes up the hill because it was too steep to ride up. I remember it had to be Grandma Betty, because Grandma Polly never rode a bike that I knew of, and actually always warned us not to ride our bikes into the lake! Grandma Betty and I got our goodies from the store and headed back to our site.
The story goes – or so they tell me – that Grandma Betty was suggesting we walk our bikes down the hill – but I was already gone – bare feet in flip-flops, off the pedals, sticking out right because my little legs couldn’t keep up – fl ying down the hill – hair flowing, no helmet, eyes as big as saucers, a grin on my face- in sheer delight!
I don’t remember Grandma’s suggestion or her panic, as she could do nothing but watch helplessly from the top of the hill. I do remember Dad at the bottom of the hill – arms out, thinking about catching me and at the last minute jumping out of the way. The road flattened and turned and I eventually slowed and stopped on my own, riding safely back to the site. No harm, no foul! Wondering what the fuss was all about.
I was the youngest and smallest in my neighborhood. In the evening, many of the kids would be out riding bikes. 10-speeds. Big kid bikes. Being the youngest, I still didn’t have one. And I didn’t want to ride my banana seat bike. Gosh, that would be so embarrassing.
Somehow, Dad knew my pain and my heart. I just wanted to fit in and ride with the big kids. So, out came his brown 3-speed and up and down the street he rode – with me on the bar in front of him – with the big kids!
In 5th grade, I made a “Please quit smoking” poster for my dad for Christmas. There wasn’t a dry eye that Christmas morning. In the spring, my dad gave me my first 10-speed bike. A bike he had bought with the money he saved when he quit smoking.
My Sister, My Childhood Friend
Another favorite camping spot was in the Adirondacks. Fish Creek Pond was a campground that had a 3 1/2-mile loop around it. This was a time when there were no cell phones, no video games or TV, but plenty of leisure activities. We cooked, ate, water skied and rode bikes! As a family, we would spend hours riding our bikes around that loop, and later, it was that loop that would bond me with my sister when we were allowed to ride it by ourselves.
Somewhere along the way, I forgot my love of biking. Perhaps it was when bike helmets came out and I was at the age where vanity came before safety. There were many years I did not ride. I lost my passion in life.
In high school, I traded two wheels for my two feet and became a runner, eventually racing anything from 2 miles to marathon distance.
In my 30’s, an injury left me unable to run. A friend, Jim, suggested I try biking. It would be easier on my body. I bought a used bike and fell in love. In more ways than one.
I fell in love with road biking and I fell in love with the friend who suggested it! Jim would eventually become my husband! We have since co-founded Cycle Club Kingston, where we get to lead and ride with local people – from beginner to pro!
Just like when I was a kid, I love riding my bike! The sprinting. The lead out. The climbing of hills. The flying down hill. Seeing new places. Traveling further than I could on two feet. Pushing my body. Feeling both exhilarated and exhausted! Riding my bike in beautiful places is my heart’s desire and I get to do it with my best friend!
Passion and Career Paths
As I look back upon my own childhood, I had a love of outdoor activities. I had a strong balance of hard work, play, and rest. My childhood passion showed up in my education path, and my undergraduate degree is in recreation. My favorite summer jobs included working on boats or at a resort where my day-to-day life involved facilitating play for others. Eventually, my career took me in a different direction. As I moved inside and mainly work behind a computer, it is extra important that I pursue my passions in my personal life and make sure to build in things that I love into my daily routine.
Your real passion may not show up as your dream job. But a fulfilling life will include a balance of things you feel you have to do with a spark of passion for the things you love to do.
Your Turn: What’s Your Passion in Life?
What about you? What are your passions in life? What did you LOVE to do as a child and when did time stand still?
Was it while you were playing, perhaps a sport, or a musical instrument? Is your passion for music part of your everyday life or just a distant memory?
Did you love art class? Did you love drawing, painting, or writing?
Were you building something? What was YOUR Passion and, are you still doing it?
If you find that in your career you have a lack of passion, perhaps it’s time for a career switch. Instead of looking at the same job descriptions and the same career fields, make a list of examples of passions that you have or had at some point in your life. Then, do a job search for career opportunities that include these passions.
So often, we stop dreaming. We forget our first loves. We give up on our passions. It could be due to time or money. Or perhaps our professional life takes too much time. It could be because life became about the struggle instead of the dream.
It’s time you gave yourself permission to DREAM! There is a path to financial freedom and residual income.
I’d love to hear about your dreams and passions. And I’d love to partner with you on the path to making them a reality!
From my blog:
- To find your passion look to your childhood
- Finding Your Balance – Know the Spokes on Your Wellness Wheel
- Are you walking through life like you are sleepwalking? It’s time to find your passion and purpose
Buy from me:
Far more than a sports memoir, Raging Love is a gripping tale of perseverance and purpose and a reminder that finding one’s path is, above all, an evolution from psychological discipline and mental toughness to forgiveness, spiritual peace, self-knowledge, and self-love.
In this book, King tells how he learned to focus his anger and channel it in a more positive direction to finally understand that athletic success does not always bring fulfillment, but rather forgiveness and mentoring others can help a person to evolve, find love, quality relationships, and live a more balanced life of purpose.
Raging Love is a must-read source of inspiration for everyone. Even non-sports fans will cheer for King as he wrestles his rage, learns to forgive, and turns his focus to the love and service of others.
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My Nutrition for Cycling Includes:
- AMPED™ Hydrate in my water bottle.
- A pre-ride e+™
- A post-ride plant-based protein shake with AMPED™ Repair (I love the flavor of this tart cherry and turmeric combo!)
With love, gratitude, and kindness,