Trent Reznor once wrote a song that was immortalized by Johnny Cash called “Hurt”. The music video that accompanied the song by Cash was a chronicle of his life, a life of passion, a life of heartache, and a life well lived. The opening line of the song, “I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel...” is what many people do when faced with emotional issues, death, life, heartache, a loss of passion, or simply losing one's way. In the end it all comes down to passion, and how we handle our passions.
Often times we hurt ourselves, because hurting ourselves is easy. An easy channel for a growing and often uncontrollable passion. For Johnny Cash, this was a way to write his own ending, to channel what passion he had left one last time before he died. Johnny Cash was able to create his end, as he did when he created his own image, his way, a way that few are able.
There are times that exist that makes one come to grips with their own mortality, their own limitations, times that make a person think over their goals, and change their plans. Over the past two years passion has been a central part of my personal growth, death, life, forgiveness, understanding, and determination have driven my personal goals. Even base passions bring knowledge, knowledge of past and present limitations, they bring back feelings of what was, and what can never be.
I remember as a teen, watching that promo, thinking as the men in the ring did, that the speech was some kind of angle, but knowing the relationship between Anderson and Flair, the tears beginning to well up in Flair's eyes, the voice of the speaker choking, it became perfectly clear that while the passion was still there, the body was unwilling to match it. I always say, life leaves you with choices, you don't have to like them, you only have to make them work. When I fell, it was like a cold slap in the face, a passion which may never be fulfilled, and a knowledge that if the spot isn't filled it will drive me to the brink of destruction. Facing your own physical limitations, when before you just pushed forward through sheer will, is never easy, but faced they must be.
Arn Anderson wasn't a special athlete, not strong, not fast, but was able to parlay his abilities, gamble on them and win, through sheer force of will. Anderson was special, because of that determination, because of his keen mind, and his untouchable wit, and was able to channel that into a post wrestling career as a professional wrestling manager, trainer, and television producer.
Finding the outlet for said passion is often times a challenge for athletes, some devote time to family, others work media for their prospective sports, others work behind the scenes to better both the sport, and others' understanding of the sport they love. Other people never find that outlet, some allow their passion to consume them, they are unable to adapt, to evolve their thinking, and manage their passion. When does passion become all consuming? When does the fire for which that life was lived become all encompassing? The answer is never simple, and often sudden, and though things change they should never be forgotten.
Many people I know have many passions, my friend Chunder has a passion for gaming and computers, Hunter has a passion for music, Bobby has a passion for cooking, Adam has a passion for law, Chris (CEO of Draft Utopia) has a passion for sports, and I have a passions for life, and football. The passion that burns in all of us, everything that we do, and everyone we meet. We all need an outlet, and to learn as we evolve as people. Where will our passions take us? What will we learn from the hurt? What outlet will you choose when the time comes to redirect that passion?