Friend Sara (grandmotherhood and exercise) had a blog entry today that got me thinking. You see Sara is a runner. When I met her, I would say that she probably didn’t think of herself as such. But now she is training for her first marathon (yea Sara!).
I have tried running through the years, mostly as a means to an end, to make the baseball or football team. Later I used it mainly for exercise, but I never became a runner like Sara. These days the only running you are likely to see me engaged in is if someone large and angry is chasing me, and I am unarmed…or maybe a run to the frige at halftime. It’s not that I didn’t want to be a runner per se…it just never happened.
Sara’s transformation from non-athlete to mega-athlete happened gradually to the casual observer, but I suspect at one specific point in time something about running resonated deep within her psyche. Sara probably can tell you when and where she was when it clicked that she was a runner. Perhaps she was designed by nature to be a runner.
For me, nothing resonates like the outdoors. I love it all…gardening, camping, hiking, photography, hunting and fly-fishing. I even have some photographic proof of my rock climbing and rappelling days. But I can’t tell you when it clicked for me…it seems as though I have always been crazy about the outdoors.
I was introduced to the outdoors at a very early age. Both sets of grandparents had farms, so nature was just outside the back door.
I helped in grandmothers’ gardens and went on mushroom hunts. I learned how to eat honeysuckle “honey”. I was shown impressions of an owl wing imprinted on fresh snow when it swooped to catch a mouse. I followed the the men around on rabbit hunts and caught fish in the pond across the fence from the old home place. I was lulled to sleep at night listening to whippoorwills and cricket songs, sometimes paying homage to the day’s chigger bites.
I come from hearty blue collar country folk who earned their living with their hands, and depended on nature to put meat in the pot when money was scarce. So one could take the position that I was destined to be an outdoorsman becuase of my exposure and encouragement in outdoor activities.
My brother grew up in a similar environment. He likes the outdoors well enough, but I wouldn’t say it’s his passion. We share parents, many common experiences including exposure to the outdoors. But we have different passions. Thus my belief that my passion is the result of nurture rather than nature.
So my question to you gentle reader …when you think about your passion, what do you think is the driving force behind it? Maybe nature, like Sara who maybe would say that running is in her DNA? Or maybe you think it is nurture, like me because of many outdoor experiences that cultivated my passion? It’s your turn to sound off!