How to Avoid the Dark Side of Passion and Build a Sustainable Running Obsession

I’ll openly admit I got addicted to running when I started. The progress! The improvements! The thrill of running faster and faster got me hooked. But… was it healthy?

Jason (right) did not perfect the final lean until college…

Passion is a complicated topic. We’ve all been told to “follow our passion” or to “find our passion.”

In fact, my high school yearbook quote was about passion (and running, of course)! I wrote:

Average people follow their dreams. Distance runners chase them down and beat them into submission.

I still think about that quote today.

But passion has been simplified to the point where it’s often meaningless.

Sure, you might feel passionate about running. But what does that mean? It often leaves you with more questions than answers:

  • Can too much passion be a bad thing?
  • What happens when runners rely too heavily on external results?
  • When does passion turn into burnout?
  • What happens if your passion fades over time?

Clearly, we need a better understanding of what drives us if we want to be “sustainably obsessed” with running for the long-term.

So I’m thrilled to bring you performance coach and best-selling author Brad Stulberg.

Behaviors, Mindsets, and Passion with Brad Stulberg

Brad Stulberg

Brad Stulberg is a polymath whose first book with coach Steve Magness, Peak Performancewas one of my favorite reads from 2018.

His work focuses on helping athletes, business executives, and other top performers improve their chances of success by work on:

  • Defining a path for long-term progression
  • Mental toughness
  • Developing sustainable motivation and purpose
  • How to get into a deep-focus “flow” state
  • Building resilience
  • Development of optimal routines

His latest book is also coauthored by Steve Magness, titled The Passion Paradox: A Guide to Going All In, Finding Success, and Discovering the Benefits of an Unbalanced Life.

In this conversation, we spend time focusing on the nuances of passion, obsession, and building interest in things that we like.

His book is a defense of passion. It’s a more nuanced, effective perspective on passion that acknowledges that it’s hard to find, that it must be cultivated, and that too much of it can indeed be a bad thing.

Show Resources & Links:

If you’re interested in this conversation, you’ll love Brad’s last two books. Be sure to follow him on Twitter; his feed is truly inspirational and actionable!

Thank you SteadyMD for sponsoring this episode! Learn more about their medical services for runners and how you can benefit from a physician who understands runners.

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