In de­fence of do­ing what you love

Neg­a­tive com­ments about Seal Is­land Bridge jumper missed the point

Cape Breton Post - - Op-ed - Jill Ellsworth Gen­er­a­tion Y-Not Jill Ellsworth is an ac­tion sports writer who lives in Do­min­ion. Her col­umn ap­pears monthly in the Cape Bre­ton Post. She can be reached at jil­lellsworth94@gmail.com

Just over two weeks ago, Lo­gan Lat­ulippe posted a video that has been get­ting a lot of at­ten­tion. The video, which features Lo­gan do­ing a 95-foot gainer off of the Seal Is­land Bridge, has over 137,000 views on Face­book alone and has been shared across count­less me­dia sta­tions bring­ing along with it both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive feed­back.

To be up front, I’m a big sup­porter of Lo­gan, who is the cre­ator of Cape Bre­ton Col­lec­tive, and I know what he’s ca­pa­ble of. Was I wor­ried when I heard he was go­ing to throw him­self off of the Seal Is­land Bridge? Sure, but he’s not my kid. In fact, he’s not a kid at all, which seemed to be some­thing a lot of peo­ple were over­look­ing in their judge­ments.

Ob­vi­ously we all re­al­ize and un­der­stand now that part of the neg­a­tive re­sponse comes from the pos­si­ble strain put on first re­spon­ders, and fear that oth­ers with less train­ing will fol­low in his foot­steps, but that re­sponse isn’t what up­set me. What shocked me about the com­ments on Lo­gan’s video was how many peo­ple sim­ply put him down for do­ing what he loves. View­ers called Lo­gan names and said he should be ashamed of him­self. Some even in­sin­u­ated that they would have pre­ferred to hear about him fail­ing the jump rather than sur­viv­ing.

What Lo­gan wanted view­ers to gain from his video was in­spi­ra­tion – not to mir­ror his ac­tions, but to fol­low dreams of their own. For Lo­gan, chasing adrenaline rushes with his friends and pro­duc­ing qual­ity videos is the dream, and be­cause of his hard work and de­ter­mi­na­tion he’s able to do that for a liv­ing. That’s some­thing we can all learn from.

To­day, it seems like mak­ing a liv­ing out of some­thing you love has be­come a pipe dream for many; an ex­cep­tion to the rule. With the pres­sures of daily ex­penses and for many, lin­ger­ing stu­dent loans, it be­comes an un­for­tu­nate truth that the ma­jor­ity is set­tling for safety. How­ever, set­tling for a job you aren’t truly pas­sion­ate about leaves you miss­ing out on the in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence of lov­ing what you do ev­ery day.

Of course I know that it’s a priv­i­leged and un­re­al­is­tic opinion to say that ev­ery­one should just quit their day job and start liv­ing their dreams to­mor­row. But I wanted to en­cour­age you to make time for that pas­sion you used to have to­ward some­thing, even if it’s only in your spare time. De­vot­ing time to some­thing you en­joy will boost your pro­duc­tiv­ity, mo­ti­vate you in other as­pects of your life and leave you feel­ing more ful­filled. When the peo­ple around you see your pas­sion shining through, you will be­come a source of mo­ti­va­tion for them as well.

Pos­si­bly the most im­por­tant rea­son to make time for the things you love is the ben­e­fit to your men­tal health. The world around us seems to be get­ting in­creas­ingly stress­ful each day so find­ing some­thing that gives you pur­pose and hap­pi­ness goes a long way in keep­ing your head above wa­ter.

As some­one else who gets to do what they love for a liv­ing, I wanted to write this piece to re­mind read­ers of their own dreams. Maybe you for­got about them years ago, let­ting them drift to the side as re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and rou­tines took over. All I ask is that you take a few min­utes out of your day to re­mem­ber what you dreamed of and how much that meant to you.

Maybe then it will be eas­ier for you to un­der­stand why we push our­selves to the lim­its to do what we love.

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