Playful Passions

What’s a word that describes you?  Pick one word.  For me I think passionate would be that word.  It’s my driving factor.  Passion is what fuels my soul and because of it I tend to fall in love easily.  I’m not just talking about people, although I honestly do fall in love quickly when it comes to relationships.  I’m not here to talk about relationships I’m here to tell you how passion rules the other aspects of my life. 

One of the first things I became passionate about in my life was flying.  As a kid I wished I could fly.  I had reoccurring dreams when I was little that I could.  I would stand really still and wish myself to fly and I did.  I didn’t fly high up, just enough to be over everyone elses heads and float around the neighborhood.  How real those dreams were and how much I wish I could just will myself to fly.  I enjoyed anytime I got to fly on a plane.  My Mom said that when I went on my first flight at 2 years old that I smiled from ear to ear and just wanted to stay on that plane flying around.  When I was about 12 or 13 we went to Hawaii and rode in a helicopter over Kauai and the wonderful waterfalls.  It still to this day was one of the funnest things I have ever done.  A year or so later (or maybe it was before I really can’t remember) we went to Alaska, my Dad had a business trip there so my Mom and I went along.  We took a small plane up to Point Barrow.  Flew low enough to see all the wonders of the Alaska wilderness.  Saw a family of Moose, the Alaska pipeline, herds of antelope.  Incredible views abound.  Years later when I lived in Virginia my partner at the time was a huge kayaker and we were in West Virginia for the day.  I had heard about “5 Dollar Frank”.  A crazy old guy who would take you up in his old plane for 5 bucks!  Supposedly he just wanted enough to help pay for his fuel so he could spend his days flying!  So I decided to check it out.  I got into his old Cessna and up and away we went.  Flying over the beautiful West Virginia mountains.  He let me have the controls for a little bit and my heart just raced.  At that point I knew I wanted to fly.  Not as a passenger but as a pilot.  So a few years later after I landed in North Carolina and saw flying lessons advertised at the Asheville Airport, I thought this is it I’m doing it!  I took the ground school class first then started out on the actual flying lessons.  The first flight I was in love.  It was all I wanted to do.  So I kept taking lessons, enjoying every moment in the sky.  Eventually I realized how much of my wallet these lessons were taking and that even when I got my license I would still be pouring all my hard-earned cash into it.  So I had to quit.  I miss it and every time I see a Cessna in the sky or get on a plane to travel I think how much I wish I could do it again. 

While I was taking my flying lessons I was introduced to mountain biking.   A friend loaned me his old rigid frame bike and I started to learn how to ride a bike all over again.  Started going out to Bent Creek every weekend and rode bigger and bigger loops.  I needed my own bike!  So I got on eBay (of all the places) and bought a bike for $300.  I was still flying and some days I would go from my flight lesson to Bent Creek.  Those made for incredible days!  Several months later when I decided I had to give up the flying lessons I decided to pour more of myself into the bike.  I wanted a new better full suspension bike!  So I bought True Love and never looked back.  I sold the bike I had originally bought to a friend but I’m not sure I could ever sell another one.  I love the three bikes I have.  They all are a part of my life and me and thus I’m passionate about them.  My amount of time on the bike has varied since those initial days of riding but I never stopped being passionate about them.  I am so happy to be at a point in my life that I’m riding now more than ever. 

So with the winter and less riding I realized I needed to do something else for exercise.  About  a year ago I had tried a week of Bikram Yoga and thoroughly enjoyed it but it was too expensive to keep up so didn’t go back until December.  I have been back at it for about 7 weeks now and yesterday when I had just enough time to either ride or go to yoga, I went to yoga.  It was then I realized I have a new passion.  Not one to replace any other passion, just a new one to add to my life.  I knew if I didn’t go yesterday it was going to be 3 days without it.  What?  I thought I only felt this way with my bikes?  I have to go to yoga?  Oh my gosh I have fallen in love!  So I’m embracing my new passion, my new love.  Keeping my life balanced with bike rides and yoga.  It’s always wonderful to find a new love. 

There have been other things I am passionate about.  My collection of rocks and fossils.  Geology class in high school is what drove me to my bachelor’s in Geology and I was passionate about the subject and rocks.  I have spent many a day looking for minerals and fossils in the field. I just realized I’m not passionate about the real life jobs associated with a geology degree (thus why I’m searching for a new career direction, but that’s another story).  I’m also passionate about cheese and good beer.  Just on the side of enjoying it and loving it.  By the way I’m 30 days into my no cheese resolution and am definitely missing it.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder right?

So I’m lucky to have my passions.  They motivate me, keep me fit, happy and feed my soul.  I know my life will lead me to find new passions that will feed my heart and keep me falling in love!  To me life is following your passions and finding new ones.

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One response to “Playful Passions

  1. Great perspective Karen. Live your passion. That’s what Dean Karnazes said as well in Ultramarathon Man, the movie.

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