Happiness is Not a Choice

February sucked. I'm just going to come right out and say it.

I had grand plans of running tons of miles, hitting every speedwork session and long run, and regaining my peak running physique that I've grown accustomed to having while training for a big race.

Instead, I took nearly two full weeks off from running due to vacations, inclement weather, and illness. I've pretty much kissed my goal of running a 1:45 at the Love Run 13.1 goodbye. I've gained a few pounds that magically seemed to appear overnight, and became deathly ill (well, I had a bad cold) just in time to finish out the month with 5 consecutive days of no activity.

While I was sick last week, I mostly sat around feeling sorry for myself. I felt it wasn't fair that I couldn't breathe well enough to walk to the subway station, let alone go for a tempo run when I already had such a crappy month running-wise.

I let my hopes and dreams of running a fast half marathon on March 30th slip away as each day passed without a run. I let my mind ruminate on negativity as my muscles became softer.

I let my failure to meet my running goals interfere with the rest of life, and I was unhappy.

But I'm done.

I've heard people say you can "choose happiness." As someone who has dealt with a few pretty serious episodes of depression, I don't believe that is true. You do not just wake up one day and "choose to be happy" and boom, you're all better. That is just an unbelievably simplified, bullshit, Pinterest fantasy statement to me.

NOPE.    source

Now before you think I'm a total pessimist, let me explain my point of view.

I believe that we must make decisions and take actions that will ultimately lead to happiness in our lives. 

So this month, I am choosing to make the right choices that will lead to a more full and happy life. I'm not going to wake up and just "choose happiness" since that is bullshit. But I am going to go to bed and wake up earlier, drink more water and less alcohol, do more reading and less social media browsing, and finally, run more and bitch less.

I could sit here for awhile and recap more bad things about February that have been rolling around in my head for the past week. But instead of ruminating on missed runs and a few extra pounds, I'll look ahead to March, which will bring more sunshine, less snow, and hopefully, a new PR at the end.

Over the weekend, I became a Honey Stinger sponsored athlete.  I also ran a new 10k PR of 48:39 at the NERRC 10k. That's a 7:50 pace, and over 4 minutes faster than my previous PR of 53:00.  March is looking pretty damn good so far. Suck it, February.

4 thoughts on “Happiness is Not a Choice

  1. Way to go baby girl!! Never give up,stay focused.Always remember sometimes shit happens...adapt and you will always meet your goals!! I have never known anyone more determined than you!!! I love you and good luck with that PR ..I'll be rooting for ya!!!
    Mommy recently posted...Happiness is Not a ChoiceMy Profile

  2. I couldn't agree more!! I think that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just may not be happy. I mean, don't we all WANT to be happy (well, at least most people)?! The choosing happiness mantra bothers me to the similar one that "running is my therapy" or "running is cheaper than therapy" etc., because sometimes, even though you're a runner and it's cathartic, you may still in fact need some therapy - and there's nothing wrong with that! Anyway, I hope March brings you health, happiness, and lots of (speedy) miles!

    1. Danielle @ Trails & Cocktails

      Post author

      Word, glad I'm not the only one who doesn't buy all the hype. I was a runner and simultaneously in therapy for about two years. Sometimes you do need both! 😉


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