Harmonious passion is when an individual becomes completely absorbed in an activity because they love how the activity itself makes them feel. Obsessive passion is when an individual gets hooked on something because of external reward (source)
When I am not in the most, let’s say, blissful, mood during a run, I start to question what kind of person I am.
Some people, [haters] call what we do crazy, daemonic, obsessive.
Are they right?
Is the reason I (and others) run based on something extrinsic, something outside myself or something superficial?
The answer: sometimes
As anyone who has trained for a race, of any distance, there are times when training is dull. I forget the end game. I forget why you started. All that seems relevant is that I have a 5 mile run to do before I go into a 9 hour work day.
I’m not feeling it, it feels like a stupid item to check off my to-do list.
And some days, that’s ok. It’s ok that my run is something I check off my list. It’s necessary because often times, completing a task is helpful in beginning my day. It makes me feel productive. I am better able to accomplish the other things on my list.
So, I will still run even if it is not purely for the joy of running. Anyone who says they only run because it is the greatest all the time is probably lying.
Most days I feel a sense of harmonious passion in my efforts. I click off the miles without noticing, I am absorbed in what I am doing and just running is the outcome I search for as I run. The activity itself brings as much joy as the result.
I think I need both of these types of passion for my running. I need the obsessive passion for days when I don’t feel like running or I have the choice to cut a run short or quit. I need a race or a sense of fitness running provides.
I am motivated and encouraged by the harmonious passion I feel when running is right. The pain is welcome. I smile and run with a sense of purpose and pride, no matter the speed. This passion is why 80 year old Ellie will still be hobbling around the block.
I believe that as people age and times increase, the harmonious passion becomes a larger percentage of the reason to run. Sure, running for health (mental and physical) is still there, but the depth of intrinsic reward from running becomes the sought after outcome.
What kind of runner are you?