Sometimes life takes you in a direction that is not ideal to you – you’re working at a job that you’re not passionate about, you’re not living in the place where you want to live, you’re not surrounding yourself with positive people, or you’re not participating in any activities you enjoy. All of these will surely take a toll on you mentally and also physically.
It’s never too late to find something that you’re passionate about, and go for it! Take NordicTrack’s iFit personal trainer, Gideon Akande, for example. He was working as a successful sales consultant; however, his heart wasn’t into it. It just wasn’t his passion. He decided to take his life into his own hands and do something about it.
“Both of my parents were born and raised in Nigeria, West Africa, and they both came to the United States about 35 years ago. Like most immigrants, my parents came to United States in search of a better life, and once my brother and I came along, they sacrificed to make sure that we had everything we needed to be successful, and I’m forever thankful to them.
Sports came naturally to me. I always worked hard at everything I did, but athletics definitely happened to be my wheelhouse. I was blessed to receive a Division 1 football scholarship to play a College of the Holy Cross. I did everything I wanted to do with the sport. I’m definitely glad that I played for as long as I played, but I was done with football – I had no idea what I wanted to do next.
I came back to Chicago. I worked in sales for four and a half years, and even though that was paying the bills, it was not fulfilling me personally. When that alarm clock would go off, it would be like, “Not again.” I knew that I wanted to do something different, and I needed to find something that was going to rekindle that fire in my heart.
I decided to start training. I was still working at my sales job, but I had a good friend of mine who was looking to get herself right and, essentially, I took her under my wing and I said, “You know what, let’s go out this together.” And made me feel great that I could share something that was improving her life and the way she felt about herself. Long story short, I started a personal training business. This is what I’m supposed to be doing. This is where I’m supposed to be. I knew that I had that competitive itch still, I wanted to do something where I could still compete. That’s when I found boxing.
There were other trainers in my gym who would box on Fridays and with their clients, and they would kind of do some light sparring just to kind of work on the craft. So, I decided to jump in on some of these sparring sessions, and they noticed that I had some natural abilities. After my first boxing match, I was officially hooked. Won several matches after that and then competed in my first Chicago Golden Gloves Boxing Championship.
So, when I look back at it, I feel everything in my life, every sport that I played, my upbringing with my family, the competitions that I’ve entered, the ones that I’ve won, the ones that I’ve lost have all molded me to be the person that I am today.
Time is short and you got to take advantage of the now. So, find what you love, find your passion. Don’t worry about what the people are saying next to you. Worry about where you want to be. Worry about your happiness. Worry about what’s going to bring you joy. There’s so many things people say you should do and so many logical paths. Sometimes you have to go with what you feel, and where you know in your heart is what you’re supposed to do. And that means taking risks, that means getting uncomfortable. Don’t rob yourself of the opportunity to change the world. Go for it. Go for it. Sky’s the limit.”