find your passion!
Alec Enkiri | 1/25/21
Finding passion through your training. It's such a simple idea, yet its often elusive for many of us (or even most of us probably), and for those of us who have found it can often be fleeting. Sometimes you don't even realize its gone until its so far away in the distance that you cant even see it anymore and then one day you snap back into reality and realize you don't even care at all about whatever the heck you're doing at the time. So its an interesting and delicate thing.
Passion vs. Motivation
Motivation is transient by nature. It's a very temporary feeling and it typically stems from changing something - embarking on a new or different journey - but it inevitably dwindles and burns out rather quickly. It kickstarts, but it doesn't sustain. It waxes and it wanes. It ebbs and it flows like the tide.
However, motivation is born out of passion. Not the other way around. So while motivation may fade quickly, passion doesn't have to. It can linger in the background indefinitely and that can be what keeps the flame lit, however dimly, for years on end, driving you forward. You still need to find that daily kick in the ass that gets you out of bed every morning, but passion can be the overarching force that kind of drives you towards the bigger picture. From there, motivation will wax and wane and you can use that when it's there, but for when it's not there you need to ingrain habits. That's kind of what the daily grind requires. That's what gets you to punch the clock every day, really, is habit. But that's a topic for another day because it's mundane and tedious, to be honest, and I want to talk about something fun...and what's fun is passion, what leads you to your absolute most peak performances is passion, what makes you look forward to training and to the day and to life in general is passion!
I was reminded of this the other day when I hit a recent 225lbs power snatch PR from the pocket position - a pretty damn impressive display of power, in my opinion, to heave a 225lbs barbell overhead like that from a position of zero momentum at the hip ;) never mind that though. But I was strapping up for that one particular lift, and it had been a hell of a session up to that point...by that I mean it had been difficult. I was coming back from a 3 week layoff after the New Year, and I really hadn't done much work on this lift since the middle of 2019 really - over a year and a half ago now - so things were never particularly crisp (not that I'm a proficient snatcher anyway, but I can still feel a pretty big difference between when I'm practiced at the lift and I'm kind of putting the bar in the right position vs. when I'm just a couple inches off, which is all it takes here).
225lbs Power Snatch PR From The Pocket!
So I was strong and powerful here because I was very well rested, but my technique was shit. I got up to 205lbs I think with no misses and I'm heaving the bar up pretty damn high still, getting good power into it, and then I go to 210lbs and I miss it 3 times. Just a tiny bit off but I can't hold it.
So I go back down to 200lbs and I nail it on the first try and then I go back up to 210lbd and I nail that on the first try this time on the second wave up. And the most I've done on this lift in this style is 220lbs, so at this point I'm thinking I'm definitely strong enough to hit 220lbs, maybe even more, but I don't suspect that I will because the lift is just so off in general. So I keep things conservative and go up to 215lbs.
I take a few stabs at it and they're all strong and really really close, but the lift is just off and I just can't quite put the bar in the right spot and I can't quite hold onto it. So after 4 or 5 shots I start getting pretty pissed off about it because I should be able to do this, but I just haven't been able to execute. So now is when I start to negotiate with myself:
Just heave it overhead, hold the damn thing, nail the lift and then you can stop the session. Just fucking end it right there. All you have to do is lift this weight and you're free.
So now fast forward 15 or 20 minutes later and I'm 9 or 10 attempts in and I still haven't hit it. At this point I stopped counting how many attempts it had been, to be honest, because I didn't care anymore. It was something I was going to do and I wasn't going to stop until I did it. It's really that simple. And then, I don't know, 12 or 15 or 20 attempts later, who the hell knows, but I finally nail it and it's perfect, and it feels like it was the easiest lift anyone could have ever done and then I see that I forgot to hit the record button on the camera.
And I'm not even mad, just more amused than anything because it couldn't have happened any other way. But now you can't stop. Now you have to do 220lbs. So I go ahead and load it up and it's a little rough around the edges but I bully the weight up there and hit it on the first try, which is how 215lbs should have gone. So now you have to go for a PR because, well, you're right there anyway and there's nothing to lose. So I load 225lbs onto the bar and I'm not really expecting much at this stage, to be honest, because I'm burnt out, tired, and mentally fatigued at this point. I've already done something like 15 or 20 heavy attempts by now. BUT I've wanted this for a while because it's 225lbs! Its four 45lbs plates on the bar for a fucking power snatch from the pocket! So I tell myself I have to give it at least one earnest attempt.
So I'm chalking up and I walk over to the bar and this Avicii song starts playing in my earbuds, its called "The Nights", and in the song he talks about his dad. Not many of you know this because I don't really talk about it, but I lost my dad a few years ago. And so I start getting all stirred up at this point because I miss my dad and I was already a bit emotional and pissed off anyway because of how things had been going in the session, but so now with that emotion already there the words in the song are really really starting to resonate with me and I start getting super amped up because of it.
I literally stopped for a second while I was strapping up and said to my dad, "just let me make this lift." And then I honestly kind of blacked out. I remember standing there with the weight in my hands, thinking about my dad, but not really thinking about what I was doing. It was kind of like I was a visitor in my own body just observing what was happening, and then all of a sudden the bar was over my head. It was an interesting experience. And I'll be honest, I damn near shed a tear when I turned the camera off. I got so worked up that I almost shed a tear...from lifting fucking weights - one of the most trivial things a person can do - because the idea that I'm bettering myself charges me the fuck up! It fuels me. It makes me energetic and electric and it fuels my passion.
And here's the kicker, my dad didn't even give a shit about lifting weights. He was an athlete from before the time of the weight room. But in spite of that I was able to take that event and morph it into a narrative in my head that gave me the singular boost of my motivation that I needed to do what I wanted to do at that particular moment in time.
Nobody is home here.
What's Your Point Though?
That all came about because of my passion for the game and my passion for bettering myself. If I didn't really, really want what I was trying to accomplish here - if what accomplishing that represents to me didn't have so much intrinsic value - then I never would have been able to do this lift on this particular day...because I wasn't really ready for it. If I wasn't passionate then I never would have been able to create this scenario in my head; I never would have been able to put my head into the right space to allow me to perform like this in an uninhibited fashion; and I simply never would have been able to execute it. Do or die, fail or succeed, it didn't really mean anything. In reality, not a goddamn thing. But I was able to make it seem like it did at the time, I was able to find the value in the task intrinsically, within myself, and because of that I was able to accomplish it.
But it's not really accomplishing the goal or the task itself that even matters. It's what accomplishing those things represents that actually matters: you stuck with it through the difficult times, you showed grit, you showed the ability to persevere and overcome and do the difficult thing that most other people would have quit on or rationalized their way out of by now. That is what matters. So I guess what I'm saying is, if you really want to achieve your goals, then you need to find YOUR passion. Whatever your endeavor is, you need to pick goals that align with that passion and allow you to do the necessary but mundane stuff (like punch the clock everyday as needed), but also goals that stir you up enough inside that you can create that extra jolt when you really fucking need it. When it's crunch time. If you can find that passion then you'll be well on your way to achieving your goals and becoming a stronger, more capable, and overall more adept person. But it all starts with being passionate about something. And that's really an admirable quality in and of itself! Passion. Without it, you might as well be a corpse already. Passion is really what makes life worth living. It's what makes things exciting. It's what makes a person electric. And it's palpable and its contagious and, in my opinion, it's something we should all aspire to grow and cultivate within ourselves.
I've found my passion and now I'm doing my best to spread that word to as many of you guys as I can too. And I hope that my passion is contagious as well! And with that I hope that it helps YOU to find YOUR passion.
This same blog post in video format. If you want to see a play by play of some the missed attempts then check it out!