Addiction and passion: as dedicated CrossFit athletes it is important for us to understand the difference between these two terms. On the surface, both appear indistinguishable. Yet one can lead to a life of fulfillment while the other can lead us down a dark path of isolation and despair.
Passion is the spark plug that drives us to become better coaches and athletes; addiction is an ego-gratifying, self-consuming inferno fueled by one's unconscious fears and longings. As the Canadian physician and addiction expert Gabor Maté writes, "You're more alive when you are passionate, and you triumph whether or not you attain your goal." But for theCrossFit junkie, the workaholic, the habitual shopper -- or any other person caught on that hedonic treadmill better known as addiction -- ego-gratification through personal attainment triumphs over all else. However, the desire to acquire is not the impetus behind addiction; deep feelings of resentment, pain, and inadequacy are. These are the attributes implicit in all addictive behavior. On the other hand, when we do something because it gives us a sense of joy, serenity and well-being, we tend to loose ourselves in the moment because we are so busy sharing the success with others. This is passion. Again, Maté, "Addiction is centrifugal. It sucks energy from you, creating a vacuum of inertia. A passion energizes you and enriches relationships. It empowers you and gives strength to others."
If you do CrossFit because it energizes and enriches your life outside the box, you have found your passion. If CrossFit is increasingly consuming more of your time, energy and thoughts -- creating a life in which your trivial wants take precedence over the momentous needs of others -- you might have to take a step back and look at that.