The Sacrifice behind Passion

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The Sacrifice behind Passion 

My friend Lani SO LOVES running that she is preparing to run the comrades ultra marathon. She has adapted her diet, pushed through extra training sessions, sore feet, blisters, ITB and sunburns. Lani SO LOVES to run that she is willing to give up time with her family, wake up at the crack of dawn to get to races and push her body to the limit to reach her goal.

 “When I am on a long run, I have moments where my body feels in sync. My breathing, arms and legs are all in rhythm. I forget that I am running and I just feel happy. Then I get times where I run out of fuel and 'hit the wall.' Suddenly all my limbs feel very heavy, my shoulders droop and I break out in a cold sweat. It feels like the sun sucks the energy right out of me. I can feel the salt on my skin and sweat pouring into my eyes. I try to drink water, but it feels like it's never enough. The water I have been pouring over myself finds its way between my thighs and starts chafing. After about 30km's I don't even have to look to see that I have huge friction sores on my inner thighs. There's nothing I can do until the end! Then my ankles, knees and feet start aching! These aches are a sign of over-exertion but I feel my second wind coming! I'm not as tired, but my body is in physical pain. My shoulders burn from being pulled back and my joints throb. Even the smallest stone that has found its way into my shoe feels like a boulder causing horrible blisters. The last 2 km's are mentally the toughest. I'm so close to the finish line, but I'm sore and ‘gatvol’. When I round that last corner and enter the stadium, everyone is cheering, and I realise I have done it! The euphoria then takes over and makes up for any other feeling!"

Would I ever do that? No! I think it's crazy. Not because I have MG, but because I don't enjoy running long distance! Now if it was something to do with dog agility it would be a different story! I currently dedicate energy to training my dog, doing online research about new techniques and especially love Susan Garrett's methods of distance handling. I run mini drills practising the latest handling methods and I try to attend a group lesson every week, even when it's raining. I have fallen many times and have required assistance to stand up again. My fellow handlers at McKaynine have been very helpful. My husband currently drives me to my weekly agility lessons and other family members drive me to competitions in order to assist me with conserving my spoons. I don't blink an eye when it comes to the money I spend on my dog agility interests. For I SO LOVE dog agility!

What is your LOVE or unique passion? It might be research, family, fitness, dancing, creativity or your work. Living out your life passion is said to lengthen your life and improve your quality of life (1). Living out a higher purpose has been shown to increase a person's resilience along with their personal and spiritual growth, even if they face a decline in health or disability. (2)

But what does passion really mean? The word passion is derived from the Latin word 'pati' which means ‘to suffer’ (3). It's the ability to put yourself second to reach your goals and dreams. It does not mean that it's going to be a flat route without hills or blisters. It does not mean that you will be the best or even succeed in what you're doing. It means you are willing to push through the suffering to reap the reward. Self-sacrifice has been shown to benefit the one who physically or mentally makes the sacrifice, significantly more than the one receiving the sacrifice (4).

With Easter approaching, I needed to ask myself an important question. What is God's passion? "For God SO LOVED the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). His passion is you. He was willing to give his most precious gift, for a chance that you can come to Him. Our challenge is to take up our daily cross in order to also receive the full benefit of this blessing.

I encourage you to take some time to reflect on what you SO LOVE? How does it motivate you? What is the benefit in this activity? How does it link to your life purpose? Sit quietly in meditation or journal, and truthfully answer these questions for yourself.


2)   Koizumi M, Ito H, Kaneko Y, Motohashi Y. Effects of having a sense of purpose in life on the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Journal of Epidemiol 18 (2008): 191 - 96


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