This may have been written about already, but it is something I feel strongly about. I truly believe the word “passion” is thrown around too freely these days. Over-used, and its true meaning lost.
Passion. Simply defined as boundless enthusiasm. The object of an intense desire, ardent affection, or enthusiasm.
People often say they are passionate about many different things in life. To me, there is a big difference between enjoying something, and being passionate about it. To me, there is a HUGE difference. True, raw, unfiltered passion is what separates that 1% from the other 99%. It is that primal, unfiltered desire to do whatever it takes to pursue what you want, that is true passion.
I’ve had a lot of interests in my life, and paths I’ve persued. Like some, I took up music and started a band. I enjoyed creating music, touring, and all the fun that came along with it. From playing shady bars in Fresno, to singing live with my favorite band on stage at The Warped Tour, I had a blast.
But it wasn’t until we shot our own music video, that I found what was the beginning of my true passion in life.
I was far more intrigued with the filming process and editing, then I was with the actual music. I would go to our producers studio every night and stay up till the sun came up playing with our video, and discovering all the neat things you could do. I think it was the idea of being able to take a vision that I saw in my head, and being able to actually create it in real life, is what intrigued me so much. To me, it was literally making a dream come to life.
After that project, I became more and more interested in chasing this burning desire I had inside of me to film and produce. I didn’t care what it was, I just had to do it. I had to explore that inner feeling that kept pushing me to film. I would throw cameras on my car and drive around. I’d film adventures my buddies and I had, and spend hours upon hours using Windows Movie Maker to edit. Everywhere I went, I had a video camera in hand.
One day, a life-long friend showed up to my work on his motorcycle and surprised me with a visit. I have never been on a bike at that point, and he asked me if I wanted to take it for a ride around the parking lot. At that point, I was always scared of motorcycles. I saw people tearing around the streets on them, and always thought there was no way I would be able to ride one of those things. So after some coaxing from my friend, I reluctantly got on his bike. He offered me his gloves, which I turned down because I couldn’t feel the bars as good with them on. The second I started putting around the parking lot, I felt a rush that I have never felt before, that I’m sure most new riders feel. After getting used to shifting and braking, I went out on the street, to go around the block. Looking back, it was a bonehead move seeing how I had no gear, no experience, and tons of adrenaline rushing through my veins. But the feeling I had riding down the street on that Ninja 500 was just mind blowing. It was at that exact moment I knew I HAD to get a bike.
I scoured Craigs List for weeks on end, looking for any sport bike that I could afford, often sending links to my friend asking, “is this a good bike?” I finally found one that was wrecked, but fixable, and made my purchase of a 2006 Yamaha YZF600R Thundercat.
No front brakes at the time, but that was ok, because the rear brakes worked. Looking back, I’m amazed that I didn’t die in the first week of owning that thing, because I rode that piece of broken junk with plastics flapping in the wind in shorts and a t-shirt. At one point the windscreen flew off on the freeway and a caught it with one hand, trying to navigate to an off ramp to zip tie it back on. I had no front brake reservoir, so i filled the tube with brake fluid and put a screw in the end so I could use the front brakes.
So as I rebuilt the bike and learned how to ride, another fire started burning inside me. It was the love of riding, and feeling I got when I twisted the throttle. The feeling of riding the twisty roads with your friends and not being trapped inside a cage. It was truly life changing. So here I am, with two things that I absolutely love, yet so different. I loved filming, and I loved riding. It wasn’t until I saw a motorcycle film on YouTube that suddenly made everything click. It was a beautiful piece shot at a track day in Greece. I was blown away by the emotions this film made me feel. It was the combination of the two things I loved so much, that made me realize what my calling was. My passion, if you will.
I’m not talking about slapping a camera on a bike and recording 10 minutes of on board footage and uploading it to YouTube. I’m talking about creating motorcycle films that had feeling to it. That set to the right music, made you feel something that is hard to describe. Joe and I have had conversations about that feeling in great length, and the best way of describing it, is simply, “Grit”. Its that growl you feel when something hits you just the right way. Its that rush you feel when the music, the roar of the bike engine, and the bikes hit just right all at once that makes your heart jump. Once I learned this was my true calling, all bets were off. This is what I was going to do no matter what. This is what I craved, and what I had to do to feel like I was living my life to its fullest. It is what I had to do to feel alive.
Sacrifices were made in pursuit of my new found passion. Just ask any of my ex-girlfriends, and they will back me up on this one. Its coming home after 8 hours at my day job and sitting down in front of the computer to edit film until 1am…2am…3am, doing this for days on end.
When a day off rolls around, I’ll sleep for 15-18 hours. Ask my local riding buddies who I used to ride with every weekend why I don’t show up to the meet-ups anymore. I would be willing to bet their answer would be, “He is probably editing video.” While you’re at it, call my credit card company and ask them about me. I’m sure they’ll tell you how happy they are to have me signed up with them. Why do I put myself through this? Because there is nothing else in the world I would rather be doing than exactly this. Its all I think about, its all I dream about.
That is what passion is to me. Some may disagree. But all I ask of you, is that if you find your true passion, your true calling, to do everything you can feed that craving and run at it full steam. Do not second guess, do not play it safe. Take those calculated risks, and jump. It is easy to live a safe, simple life. But that’s just it. You get one tiny fragment of time on this Earth, so make damn sure that you live it how you dream. I made one promise to myself. That promise was that I would never live my life in a way that would leave wondering, “What if……….” when I’m an old man. I encourage you to do the same.