My imaginary fitness vacation (vs. my real one)

As my semester of teaching closes and I navigate the holidays this month, my greatest challenge is dismantling the built-in enormous expectations for the perfect Christmas or winter break. What are some of those expectations?

I’ll get loads of rest

I’ll get loads of fresh air and outdoor exercise (as I’ll be in South Carolina, a much warmer climate than New England, where I live)

I’ll read loads of books that I’ve bought this year but not yet cracked open

I’ll do loads of home projects when I return from SC, including painting several rooms, hemming 5 pairs of pants, and overdue kitchen repairs

I’l do loads of yoga

I’ll do loads of craft projects– both paper and bead-based

I’l do loads of writing– personal and professional

I’l do loads of yummy winter cooking

I’m sure there’s more (loads of laundry, of course), but you get the picture. I know that this imaginary list is just that, a list for an imaginary winter break in which the laws of physics, biology, psychology and other things are not in force.

This reminded me of a blog post I wrote a couple of years ago, about a fantastic vacation I took in Arizona. It didn’t remotely resemble the imaginary vacation in my head, but was infinitely more pleasurable. And it actually happened!

Here’s hoping we can all have actual breaks and holidays that give us rest, fun, and satisfaction.

Take a look at the post, and I hope you enjoy it.



This week I’m in Arizona on vacation. What I mean by “vacation” is: I’m not at a conference and adding on a couple of days of travel, and I’m not visiting any relatives (I’m off the hook, as I have no relatives in Arizona). I’m in a place of my own choosing, engaging in non-pre-planned leisure activities. I’m staying at a luxurious (to me) hotel in Scottsdale, The Hotel Valley Ho.

On my imaginary fitness vacation, I was going to take advantage of the 3-hour time change from Boston to transform me into an early morning activity person. Imaginary early-morning-Catherine had big plans:

  1. daily hikes 7–9/10am (because of the extreme heat– 95F/35C by 10am).
  2. back-to-back yoga classes afterward, ending around 1pm.
  3. hanging out at the pool under an umbrella, reading my kindle.
  4. Minimum work tasks done (no more than 30 mins/day).
  5. heading out mid-afternoon to museums in the area.
  6. Early…

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