We all have our happy places. Mine is most definitely alongside Lake Ontario in downtown Burlington. More specifically, I love a glassy lake, running shoes on my feet, and the solace and peace of an early morning. I got that two days ago, and my runner’s high is still holding strong more than 48 hours later.
But my happy place comes at a price. You see, to access this place, you must make a trade for sleep.
This is an internal dilemma that I wage with myself most Sunday mornings. It’s still dark, life has been busy, I’m too tired, my legs need rest. All of these things come to mind when my alarm beeps at 6:00am and my duvet is seemingly always at its coziest. But more often than not, the thought of my reward pulls me from slumber. This is my prize:
This view greets me less than 2km from my front door. And on a warm Summer morning, the excuses fade away as soon as my feet touch my bedroom floor. I know that the fleeting moment of choosing to get up is the hardest part of an early morning workout and the adrenaline waiting at the finish line is well worth the temporary fatigue. I got the glassy lake I love and a deserted lakefront walkway and I was back home soon after my children woke up, ready to join in on a day of family time.
The end game of all this is that I’m planning to run in the Road2Hope half marathon in Hamilton on November 6th. I have many friends and patients also running this race, and it’s the last local race weekend of the season, making it the perfect choice for slowly building my mileage back up. I live my best life when I set personal goals, and my early-morning-run motivation dips miserably low if I do not have a specific race on the horizon. So I had 14km on my training schedule and managed to sneak out without my four-year-old running buddy tagging along. I stopped en route to take the above picture to share with my kids, as I often do. I usually see some pretty interesting things… skunks, swans, and even a naked man on a bicycle. True story (but no picture).
But the best part of my happy place is the effect it has on me. The peace. The gratitude. The overwhelming contentment.
I hope you’ve got a happy place too. And I hope that you go there often. Even if you have to make a trade to make it happen.
Choose the trade. Choose happy.