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“Have You Lost That Loving Feeling?” by Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS

Do you remember the movie, Top Gun?  It’s one of my all-time favorites (besides Rocky, of course), full of action, passion and love. There is a scene near the beginning when Maverick and Goose pick up Charlie (played by Kelly McGillis) in a bar by singing, “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling.”  The energy and sparkle in that scene was awesome – a reminder to all of us of the importance of keeping the spark and the sizzle in all that we do. 

Have you lost that loving feeling?  What could be worse than living without passion and purpose in your life?  Do you need to put some sizzle back into your workouts, your work life, your relationships and daily living?  When you think about it, we spend our entire adult lives creating the problem.  Just look at what we’ve done: we labor for years (if not decades) establishing our careers, we admire and emulate those with a stable home life, we lock in our workout schedule so we won’t wiggle out of it, we work to create lifelong relationships with family, friends and other loved ones.  Established, stable, locked-in, lifelong – Yikes!  How about some snap, crackle and pop! 

All this effort to build a box around you… and then what?  Do you live happily ever after with your daily routines? NO! Most of us crave spark and sizzle.  We need fireworks every once in a while. One of our greatest challenges is learning how to build only enough “box” to create a sturdy and reliable foundation. 

Just don’t close yourself in! My goal with this article is to share with you some tips for how to “keep the fire burning” and balance your need for stability and routine with lifelong passion, energy and joy to keep that loving feeling alive!

• Focus on your physical health. There is a saying that goes, “When you look good, you play good.”  Invest 20 minutes minimal in your physical conditioning everyday and it will go a long way to create the body’s natural high through the release of endorphins. Mix it up this summer.  Take a surfing lesson with your kids, go kayaking, vacation in a big city and walk everywhere you go. Work with a trainer a few times a week to mix up the routine, do yoga on the beach, explore the bike paths in your city… Go outside and get outside the box!

• Take a sabbatical from routines.  Pick an area of your life that’s lost its spark and shake things up.  The opportunities are endless: pull the plug on the TV, open your home to a foreign exchange student, cancel the resort in Hawaii and go camping or rent an RV, vacation in a tree house (no kidding, you can do this in Oregon), join an organic produce co-op, train for your first triathlon, challenge yourself to an hour of physical activity five or six days a week.  Pick something and start today!

• Put your career under the microscope. Does your career need a makeover? Risks aren’t only for the young. Whether the right risk for you is a job change, self-employment or a special project or partnership – Go For It! Stop isolating yourself in the corner office and rediscover the passion of your early career years. Reach out into the organization and surround yourself with new voices and ideas to challenge your thinking. Stop confusing critics with critical thinkers!

• Experience a little sensory overload.  Scoot a little closer to the edge and have some fun.  We have a new ballpark in San Diego, and one of the residential towers overlooking the park has a great party deck for owners and their guests to enjoy the San Diego Padres at play amidst beautiful downtown views.  The post-game fireworks show is sensational.  You’re not watching it; you’re in the middle of it! You’re so close; you feel like you could reach out and touch the spark and color.  Ride a roller coaster or a zip line, watch a scary movie, try a hot stone massage, attend an outdoor jazz festival, lie under the stars and hold hands with your special someone.  Light up your senses!

• Let “date night” recharge your relationship battery. Sunday afternoon in the park, Tuesday morning workout, Thursday night dinner and a movie… Whatever you choose, it’s amazing what a quiet meal without the kids, a simple night away, a long weekend, or just a walk on the beach can do for you. If you’re in the grind of working non-stop, it’s essential to give priority to your primary relationship. This is the last place you want to lose that loving feeling! Don’t go months on-end without having some quality time together.
 “Eat, Pray, Love” is an award-winning book by Elizabeth Gilbert that teaches about many aspects of life.  Most importantly, it teaches about the love of self.  Loving feelings start within you, making it absolutely essential to “put your oxygen mask on first.”  Take care of YOU before everything and everyone else. Only then, can you put the snap, crackle and pop into daily life.  Fireworks aren’t only for the 4th of July.  Blow the lid off your box and start FEELING THE LOVE TODAY!

Peace and love,


Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is a personal trainer and massage therapist who motivates, educates, and inspires people world-wide.  He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team focuses on personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, sports performance training, and nutrition to help transform people’s bodies, minds, and spirits.  Todd trains dozens of NFL & MLB baseball athletes and provides motivational talks and programs to companies and conferences world-wide.  Additionally, Todd is the Head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council.  He has appeared in 60 Minutes, on ESPN, the NFL Network,  and been featured in Sports Illustrated, Business Week, Prevention, ESPN the Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, Stack Magazine, Self, Shape, Fitness, and the NY Times and Washington Post.  Todd is the author of 27 DVD’s on strength & conditioning, functional fitness, massage/bodywork, and business/personal growth.   You can sign up for his FREE award-winning Ezine newsletter, the “TD TIMES”, at or  
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