fitness

The Joy of Freedom Days

Sunday is Run Day. Saturday is Conditioning Day. Mondays and Thursdays are sometimes Indoor Bike Day (IBD). Wednesday mornings are Strength and Conditioning Day (SCD). Based on what’s available to me with classes and days I reserve for running, etc., I always end up with a pretty consistent workout schedule. But what about Freedom Days?

I’m not talking about Rest Days. Freedom Days could turn out to be a Rest Day, if that’s what freedom means to you on that day. But it could mean many things. The world is your oyster. That is the joy of Freedom Days. The main thing is you decide as the day goes, the movement you feel like doing in the moment. You are not restricted by a date or time in the calendar. You may be inspired by the weather, the amount of energy you have that day, good news or bad news that is shaping your moment.

drawing of a blue oyster with pink pearl inside and the writing underneath “the world is your oyster”

Fellow blogger, Marjorie, asked why “freedom” and not “unplanned”. I said because I think “freedom” sounds more intriguing for a blog post, and also, given all the rules and restrictions of the pandemic, who doesn’t yearn for a bit more freedom these days. And, as Mina mentioned, “freedom” has a sense of energy to it.

I had one such day recently. It was a rare sunny, February morning. Where the world was bright and shiny right from the get-go. Sure, it’s still a bit cold but the sun is so impactful by mid to late February. It warms my insides. My heart. My brain. It warms my life. And, yes, it gives me energy. I didn’t have a scheduled IBD or SCD or RD or CD. All of which can provide their own forms of joy. I had a flexible morning at work. I have an amazing boss, who encourages flexibility in the work day. I went to work, i.e., logged into my computer in my living room. I checked emails, responded to some, checked my calendar and realized I didn’t have anything pressing and I had a couple hours before my next meeting. I put on my mask, my hat, my coat, fingerless gloves and short walking boots and set out. Where to though? Wherever I want! FREEDOM

A photo of a young girl on a sidewalk, with a skip in her step.

Often I go east from my residence and circle back along the main street near me. But this day I decided to go north. So risqué. I bopped at an even pace, with the sunshine in my step, past the large park with the beautiful view of downtown Toronto. I didn’t even know where I was going. Would I go along the Danforth to Logan and back north? Would I cut east at Gerrard – or west at Gerrard towards Cabbagetown. I decided, mid-step, that I would run in to the grocery store about 20 minutes north, turn around and head back and pick up a coffee at a favourite local coffee shop on the way back (Rooster Coffee Shop – not my absolute favourite, which is Boxcar Social, but a very good one). I didn’t feel rushed to get back online. I wasn’t trying to fit in a walk or a run or something else. I didn’t have a specific time or kilometre goal. I was just being.

When I was back home and working, I was thinking, do I fit in some yoga later? Maybe, maybe not. I did fit in daily stretches. As I mentioned in a recent post, these have been prescribed by my pelvic floor physiotherapist.

Anyway, the joy provided by the freedom to do whichever movement I felt like, when I felt like, carried me throughout the day.

I highly recommend everyone find some Freedom Days. I wish you Freedom Days. I know it may be more challenging for some. If you have small kids, or you are an essential worker and you work shift work or many other reasons. But if you find yourself with time you hadn’t planned to do anything, and you decide to use that time with some movement that provides you joy – at your discretion – I really believe it will provide you with unquantifiable amounts of bliss-generating, creativity-enhancing and joy-inspired moments. And, we all need more of that type of energy these days.

Nicole on a fortunate Freedom Day on one of the trails outside Langdon Hall in October 2019.
Nicole P. lives in Toronto with her husband and two dogs. She loves Freedom Days.

2 thoughts on “The Joy of Freedom Days

  1. This post makes me realize how “disorganized” I am about workouts. I have a rest day, which stays the same, until something that absolutely prevents me from working out (like, say, travel) causes it to move. But for the days I do workout, it’s some mix of running/spinning/pilates/other that I only kinda-sorta know in advance. I’ve been wondering lately if I should be more planned at all levels (what the workout is, what the goal is), but reading this makes me realize that I like Freedom Days. I used to plan so much, now it feels good to workout just to feel strong and happy in my body.

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    1. It sounds as thought “disorganized” works for you! I have found I work best with a regular routine. That doesn’t mean I’m not flexible when the occasion calls for it, but it helps me to plan to do certain things on certain days. This definitely doesn’t work for everyone!

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