How to bring more joy into your life.
Each year, my family runs a Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving morning. It’s actually a tradition that we started a few years back and we have all come to cherish this new ritual. We run through our hometown, which for those of you who don’t know me, is Provincetown (insert your reaction: “people are actually from there?”). Yes, people, albeit few, are actually “from there.” We run past the bay with the wind whipping our faces, down Commercial Street and the homes that once served as sanctuaries while loved ones battled the elements at sea, and finally we turn around at the Art Association and make our way back; high-fiving our friends who have not yet turned the corner.
Last year I read The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte which introduced me to the concept, “the journey must reflect the destination.” As this concept grew within me, I began to realize how often I focus on “just getting this over with” with certain things in my life. Running is definitely one of those things. Now as a trainer and fitness enthusiast, there are things that I could do forever, and I’m not ashamed to admit that aerobics is one of them. I could hop up and down and swing my arms and legs to eternity, but running has always been my nemesis. No matter how in shape I am, if I don’t run on a regular basis, my legs feel like they are in quick sand.
So rewind to last year’s Turkey Trot… It’s a gorgeous morning, the sky is so blue, I could cry. The bay is so clear and vibrant that I get lost in its mystery. I’m running down the street in this impossibly beautiful place, but that voice within me emerges: let’s just get this over with. What?!? I am at one of the most spectacular places on earth, with people I love, and I am wishing this over? Okay, I’ll give myself that it was pretty darn cold, but come on! So I thought about the idea that the journey must reflect the destination.
Reaching the finish line always feels amazing, and I knew that would happen as I returned to the Sand Castle Resort, which is where the race starts and finishes, but why not embrace that feeling right now? So I took a deep, salt-air infused breath in and said to myself: I am going to enjoy EVERY SINGLE STEP of this race. I am going to let gratitude pour from every cell in my body as I put one step in front of the other. I am going to smile so wide that the sun can’t help but to join in my glow. I am going to give thanks for the beauty and love that surrounds me and for the God given ability to have a body that allows me to run three miles. And I did just that.
As I made my way to the Art Association, turned around and ran the 1.5 miles back, I felt like I was prancing over the pavement. I was filled with so much joy that a tear spilled from my eye as in that moment, my journey and destination were one of the same.
So on November 27, I will layer up and head down to the race with my family around me and the smell of salt in the air. My intention is to savor every step just as I intent to savor every bite of my Thanksgiving Day feast later that day….