In my 20s, I vacationed in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, at an all-inclusive resort with a group of friends. We had a blast – delicious food, sunshine, beaches, home-grown tequila, and new friends. One day, I walked out to the sprawling campus of resort pools sheltered amongst palm trees and casually passed the resort gym, and I saw people working out.
Working out? On vacation! Why did resorts bother making gyms? Who would possibly use a gym during a vacation? Aren’t vacations intended to be relaxing?
Oh, but times change.
Now in my 40s and a seasoned runner for over a decade, I have a new perspective on working out. It is not a chore or something to dread. Often, running or lifting weights is the activity I look forward to each day. Is there any better start to the day than a morning run? Or a better break than a lunchtime workout during a stressful workday? What about an evening run at dusk to unwind and relax?
Today, I bring my workout clothes on vacations and business trips. I can’t remember the last time I did not visit a hotel gym when away from home. When arriving in a new place, running is one of my most reliable ways to explore and gather my bearings.
What other beneficial habits can we grow into? Can we grow into them faster?
I read books now: history, philosophy, and great literature are slowly filling my shelves. How many years did I waste not bothering with books? I am cultivating deep friendships with a few people in my life. How long did I squander with superficial people and conversations? I write now, not only in this blog but in a journal. How long did a tempest of thoughts, emotions, and ideas swirl in my mind with no productive outlet?
We are who we are, but we can be much more. Let us never underestimate the power of transformation and its profound impact on our journey toward self-discovery and personal growth.