?I?m calling BS
?If you love what you do, you?ll never work a day in your life.?
You?ve probably heard this quote from an influencer, business guru, self-help book, your entrepreneurial friend, etc. It?s the go-to inspiration quote for those who?ve created (or on the path to creating) their ideal lifestyle. Well, I?m calling BS on this overused, cliche quote.
I don?t say this because I?m a bitter millennial who expected to be an overnight success on my road to the pursuit of everlasting happiness. (Well, I?ll admit that it is true I am a little impatient, but that?s beside the point.)
I say this because, in everything I was super passionate about, I?ve done the following:
- Shed the most tears
- Contemplated my life choices
- Found certain aspects that I absolutely dreaded doing and couldn?t wait to be over with it
- Wanted to throw in the towel when things got rough
Chances are, the people who regurgitate this quote have too. They?re just not telling you.
In the age of inspiration-porn and highlight reels on social media, it?s easy to become misguided because we?re often given a skewed perception of different lifestyles. If you let social media tell it, everyone is living their lives like it?s golden. There are very few people who give you a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes (the good, bad, and ugly). Of course, they aren?t obligated to do that; some things are meant to stay private for many reasons. For me personally, you?d have to pull teeth to get me to speak on personal topics. I just think the digital age, made many of us lose sight of the fact that everything is not what it seems.
How My Passion Absolutely Felt Like Work
Sports have a been a big part of my life. Growing up I was involved in gymnastics, basketball, field hockey, volleyball and track and field. Track is the sport I decided to stick with through college. Even though I was never paid (unless a scholarship, free clothes, and meal stipends count), it was pretty much treated like a job in many ways. You?re told when to workout, travel, compete, take classes, what to eat, how your body should be, how fast you should run, how far you should jump/throw, the list goes on.
Track was life. I loved it. If I didn?t have bills to pay (and my body didn?t fall apart), I?d continue to do it for free (even though most professional track athletes don?t make livable wages from solely competing anyways); HOWEVER, there were [many] times when I absolutely hated track and dreaded the work that goes on behind the scenes.
I?ve had incompatible coaches, tough as nails coaches, workouts from hell, days where I thought my body was going to give out, days where I had to face a lot of hard truths, and a ton of tears were shed in that 10-year window. I had serious F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out) at times and wish I could experience life like a regular college student, or what us athletes would call a NARPs (non-athletic regular people). I was a headcase. I burnt myself out. I made a lot of terrible decisions. I dealt with injuries and other setbacks. In the end, I still chose to endure it all because I loved the sport so much. It was a huge part of my identity.
My senior year of high I school, I broke a meet and school record in the triple jump at the championship meet for my county. It was the highlight of my high school career because I came out of nowhere and won. What people don?t know about that same meet is that about two hours prior to setting that record, I was in a bathroom crying. My coach made me compete in an event earlier that I didn?t want to do [at all] but had to because I was good enough to place and get points for the team. I wasn?t focused. I went through the motions and underperformed. As a result, I got yelled at [twice], took it personally, found a private place to go cry, and miraculously pulled myself together to finish the meet stronger than I expected. I guess in a way, failing (okay I?m being overdramatic, it wasn?t a complete failure). at doing an aspect that I hated in track, made me twice as eager to come back harder when it came time to do something that I enjoyed doing [more].
I have many more stories like this throughout my time in this sport, where I had to pull myself together and go through things that I didn?t want to do. I had one of these episodes on pretty much a weekly basis. At practices and meets.
On the path of becoming successful and following your dreams at the thing that you love, you?re going to deal with things you really don?t want to do. You will get knocked down [a lot] as well. It will suck. You will wish it could disappear. But it?s these moments that help us build the strength to keep going.