Kitesurfing Love The Journey

If today was your last day, what would you do? [LTJ]

This morning, someone asked me… “What would you do if you knew today was your last day on earth?”

Do you have a passion? Something that gets you fired up? That thing that makes your heart beat a little faster and your eyes shine a little brighter?

There are things in our lives that we can talk about for hours. Activities or topics or people or places that fill our dreams, whether we are awake or asleep. The stuff you want to share with everyone you meet, because you want them to have that feeling too!

But sometimes… we don’t have that thing.

Exploring. Photo by Shaune Brien.

I didn’t find my passion until I was 26. I spent years… decades of my life just existing. Floating. Asleep. Living by other people’s rules and ideas of what life is meant to be. I didn’t know any better. People asked me my hobbies, and I couldn’t answer. I didn’t have anything I was passionate about. I wasn’t good at anything, except working. I was great at that. But that’s not a passion. That’s the thing that keeps you alive and fed and gives you the freedom to follow your dreams.

Feeling alive. Photo by KiteShotz.

But how do you find your passion if you don’t have one?

You go out there, and you try new things, and you fail, and learn, and listen. And you try something else. And that thing? That fire? You’ll know it when you see it. Look for that moment when your heart feels alive.

Let me tell you about my moment. Or my awakening, I suppose.

A few years ago, I was on a trip to the beautiful British Virgin Islands with a group of brilliantly successful entrepreneurs and inspiring people. They were building their businesses and lives around the problems that they saw in the world that they were passionate about solving. And creating a life that allowed them the time to do the things that they were excited about – travel, family, sports, art, etc.

It never occurred to me that this world even existed. A world where you get to pick what you want in your life. Throw all of your energy at it and watch it evolve. My perspective changed immediately. It was like I saw life from a different lens, and I was fired up.

Turning the world upside down at Kite Clash. Photo by Crystal Veness.

That’s when I discovered kiteboarding. Amidst this community of driven, successful people, there was a subset that had created their own definition of success. That didn’t see success as the money they were making, but the lifestyle they were living. They were kiteboarders. Free spirits. Chasing sun and wind and sand, and waking up every day in paradise with a smile on their face. That clicked for me. That is the ultimate in success.

It felt like waking up.

Kiteboarding became the thing that sparked me. That lit a fire. That’s when my life changed. When I started chasing my dreams. Once I knew what it felt like to be passionate… to be alive.

How can I begin to capture what it feels like to be kitesurfing in words? For me, It’s the absolutely clarity I get when I arrive at the kite spot, and every stressful thing on my mind slips away for a while. The rush of water as the edge of my board slices through. The wind whipping through my hair. The moments of weightlessness when I’m flying through the air. And the sheer joy as I come out of the water at the end of a session, wildly happier than when I started.

That kiting feeling. Photo by Crystal Veness.

I want everyone I know to have that feeling of flying. More than that, I want everyone I know to have that thing – that passion – that lights them up. Whatever it is that sparks it. Climbing, exploring, traveling, cooking, dancing… That fire in their life.

Because you can tell, you know? When you’re having a conversation with someone, and you watch them speak about their life and their days, and they never light up. It’s hard to see. Because I didn’t start living until I started living with passion.

Ewan Jaspan flying high at Kite Clash. Photo by Crystal Veness.

If you’re not sure what your passion is today, I encourage you to try at least one new activity every week until something makes your heart start to fill. When you’re challenged, but you are so excited by what you’re doing that you rise to that challenge. When you feel the laughter bubble over because you’re having so much fun, it’s ridiculous. When you get home, and can’t wait to tell the people you love what you did.

Jack Rieder competing at Kite Clash. Photo by Crystal Veness.

This morning, when I was asked what I would do if this day was my last?

“I’d go kiting.”

This weekend, I competed in Canada’s 5th annual Kite Clash event in Squamish, British Columbia. And I loved everything about it. I loved the community, the energy, the heats I lost, and the heats I made it through. The people in the kiteboarding world that give so much of their time to organizing this incredible event. Those in the crowd that came to support and enjoy the competition from the spectator side.

That feeling of standing on the podium next to the women who had inspired me to take up kiteboarding – who were chasing their passion every day.

Find your passion. Surround yourself with those that feel that fire too. And share it. If you can bring that energy to someone else’s life – you can change their world.

 

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