Passion – Do you have it?

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.

passion on a bike between 2 men

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.

kevin playing on stage upside right

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.

yzf600r thundercat posing in front of starbucks

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.

Motorcycle films.

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.

kevin black and white gopro

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.

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  1. I will NEVER forget the first time I saw the 2010 AFM banquet film.

    It set my senses off like I’d been stung by a thousand adrenalin wasps at once.

    As I recall, I posted it to FB and said “If this doesn’t get your heart racing, then don’t worry about it, you’re already dead”

    It still gets me today. Timeless.

    1. Author

      I actually remember that post on FB! Thanks for the kind words even after all these years.

  2. I periodically jump on and read my friend’s blogs to see wazup, and when I spotting this post, I dug in with all ten nails. What a awesome read from start to finish. I feel your passion dood, it flows from the veins of this post and feeds all of us who miss finding passion by only this much. Ya, that little.

    Your “boundless enthusiasm” breathes boldly. Go for it!!

  3. Your passion shows in your work. You did an amazing job with us this year and I can’t wait to do some more stuff.

  4. Very inspirational, nice share! That question is a good way to start the new year.

  5. Thanks for the kind words, guys. I spoke with Jason Lauritzen about his crash at AFM this year at Infineon, and what happened. If I remember correctly, he said he had a comfortable lead in 3rd, but wasn’t happy with being comfortable, and gave it everything he got to try to get to 2nd place. He crashed doing so, but it was that drive and passion he spoke of that still rings in my head constantly. Taking the risk and failing, rather than settling is true inspiration for me.

  6. Fifteen years and somewhere aroun 117,000 miles ago, I began my love affair with riding. Your words remind me of this morning when I arrived at work, removed my rainsiut, wiped all the fog off my visor, changed out of my leathers and into my uniform and prepared for the day at hand. Riding on the weekends is a blast. Riding every single day of your life… I truly FEEL the passion.

    Watching your videos… WOW. Passion has SO MANY levels… haha

    Keep up the good work, Kev.

  7. Amen brother! Your passion for your art definitely shows in the work you produce. You’ve brought a whole new level of motorcycling video to the community and I’m excited to see what’s coming next from you. We were especially blown away by the Track Day video and the video. Amazing stuff.

    Passion can be consuming! It’s no secret that my passion is motorcycling, but there’s really more to it then that, right? I love racing but my true passion is track days. Helping others to ride faster, dicing with friends, watching new riders get to the “AH HA!” moment and all the camaraderie…what a blast. It makes spending all that time at my day job worth it!

    Congrats on finding and pursuing your passion, Kevin.


  8. Outstanding and accurate!!!!

    At 52 years old I am still looking for my true passion. Not “just something I enjoy”. There is plenty of that, but a true Passion!

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