The gym is my ‘happy place’

Last week I received some upsetting news. News that made me feel sad, worried and more than a little bit helpless. (I can’t share details here; it’s not my story to tell. Don’t worry, my hubby, kids and I are all fine.) 

I debated cancelling some clients and subbing out my classes, but didn’t really feel like hanging around the house by myself either.

Instead, I put on my workout clothes, headed to the gym and spent the day teaching, working with personal training clients and lifting weights.


happy place


Best. Decision. Ever. The gym is definitely my ‘happy place’.

You know, that place where you can’t help but feel better? The place where just stepping in the door lightens your mood? The place where ‘everybody knows your name’?

Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

Wouldn’t you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name.

It’s not just that exercising makes me feel better  (’cause you know it does).

It’s the camaraderie. The sense of community. The sharing of common goals.

(The women in my class who set up my step and have my equipment all set out before I’ve even laced up my running shoes 🙂 )

I GO to the gym to exercise, I STAY there because it feels like home.

Do you have a ‘happy place’? A place that instantly elevates your mood when you step in the door?

Is exercise your ‘best medicine’ too?


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  1. I was so relieved to read your family is fine. My workout room is my happy place.
    Jill @ Fitness, Health and Happiness recently posted…What’s For Dinner Menu PlanMy Profile

  2. Go figure its true……Exercising boosts your mood more than FOOD does…already after 3 days of eating SOOO MUCH BETTER (more veggies/fruit less processed sugar etc..)I feel great. Mood is happier, a couple pounds lighter, and tummy less “pouchy”….

    Kathy recently posted…Baby its Cold Outside…but I’m feeling PINKMy Profile

    • Amen! And the after exercise feel good lasts longer than the after food one!
      Happy to hear that better eating is doing it for you Kathy! Go team!

  3. I’m sorry to hear of this, but happy you found/find solace at the gym . . . exercise is DEFINITELY my best medicine. Depending on my mood it’s the gym, a long walk, or pounding it out in the basement . . . I can get out of my head, work up a sweat, and know that at the end I’ll feel more empowered and able to cope w/whatever’s on my mind. When the going gets tough, I get going! Thinking of you.
    Sarah @ Semi-Sweet recently posted…A Loss (and Leftover Turkey Soup with Lemon, Barley & Kale)My Profile

  4. holding my childs hand.
    Miz recently posted…Go forth & seek happiness…for OTHERS.My Profile

  5. Tamara – I am so sorry for whatever happened in your life & glad it is not your family BUT still not good that something sad did happen! If I can do anything, let me know!

    Happy you went to your happy place & it made you feel better!!!!

    For me, it is funny, I was just thinking that in the gym this morn – my happy & peaceful place where I can get away from the worries of the day. It definitely is my happy place! Thru all the family deaths & troubles, it has been that one place that makes me feel better & helps me work thru the stress or sadness or whatever it is.

    My mind had a bad few days & today really helped me feel better . Helped that it was all weight day too! 🙂

    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted…Gratitude Monday; Weather; Cookies; VideosMy Profile

  6. I hope you don’t see this as me poaching a link here because it’s the best way to answer your question. I wrote this shortly after the tsunami in Japan. Even though I wrote this, I reread it weekly — as reminder of my “happy place”. Movement is home for me — just movement…
    Emergefit recently posted…Never mind. Always mind…My Profile

  7. this. this is what crossfit does for me. love it! ps. thinking of you!
    Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean recently posted…Bean Bytes 21My Profile

  8. The gym is definitely one of my happy places.

    A SuperFit and Teddy hug makes me smile too 🙂

    Thinking of you!
    Kierston recently posted…Little Things Monday #6: Things That Make You Smile 🙂My Profile

  9. Assuming that being anywhere with my family and even certain friends (which is my absolute ecstatic place) is not an option I think that anyplace I can run (even the dreadmill from time to time) is my happy place. It’s where I am completely alone with my thoughts and can focus on whatever I want, rather than the million things that always seem to demand attention at other times.
    Jen @ Such a Funny Fat recently posted…HALF MARATHON TRAINING UPDATE: Week 1My Profile

    • Yes, sometimes being alone with your thoughts is a good thing. For me, right now, that’s the last place I want to be! I need movement and music and distraction!

  10. Bev Bakka says:

    Happy Place? My workplace is one of them. I work at a health improvement place with 20 colleagues who are facinating, smart, fun and genuinely friendly (not to mention very health conscious).. Sure….. There have been times when I’d rather leave office politics behind but most of my career has been full of meaningful and happy work.

    • I love it when I hear people talk about their jobs with joy and love! The phrase work/life balance doesn’t even apply any more because work is a place you want to be (just like me!).
      P.S. I’m going to Eddie Bauer tomorrow to look for that jacket…we just may be twinsies next week!

  11. Like you I always feel better when I go to the gym but my happy place would definitely be out running on the trail, in nature and getting great exercise and sorting out my thoughts – always has been especially when sadness or challenges have entered my life. My thoughts are with you, take care and go to your happy place.

    • Thanks Jennifer! Being outside also recharges me. We had a wonderful walk yesterday way out on the Pitt Meadows dikes. It was extremely foggy, but towards the end, the fog lifted and Golden Ears was shining in the sun! A beautiful metaphor for troubled times…

  12. Hope things are better!
    Reading your post makes me want to change up my entire work-out method and start going to the gym again. Hmmm…maybe I will!
    Kim recently posted…Sometimes People Baffle Me!My Profile

  13. Glad to hear you and your family are fine! I am glad that you have a happy place where you are comforted and feel vital and alive! Sometimes being among active, noisy, energetic people is just what we need. My Mother always told me the best way to forget our own troubles is to go help someone else.
    Elle recently posted…My Paleo Diary… #Whole30 Days 13 – 19My Profile

  14. Positive, active, smart, nice, engaged people are my happy place and wouldn’t you know it, but those people are at the gym and in my classes! So, yes, I always feel better after being in the club and working out, especially in a class. I hope your sad event gets better.
    KymberlyFunFit recently posted…Pain Free Movement in 2013: Who Wants In?My Profile

    • Yes, it’s definitely the people that make the place happy! Thanks for your kind words Kymberly. Hoping I have some positive news to share in a couple of weeks.

  15. Even outside of the gym, exercise is a great ‘happy place.’ It’s no surprise that exercise is as effective for treating mild to moderate depression as medication. And without any of the nasty side effects (unless one tries to do something their body doesn’t want them to do like a headstand…)

    My other happy place is the movies. Such a great form of escape for me.
    Carrie Rubin recently posted…Stop, Mr. Chauvinist, You’re Making My Eyes RollMy Profile

    • I love the movies too! When I was a graduate student, living in Montreal, there was a great rep cinema just 10 minutes away from the lab. My ‘guilty pleasure’ was to sneak off to see afternoon movies once a week! All by my lonesome (nobody to share your popcorn with or to complain about your choice of movie!).

      I miss going to the movies by myself…

  16. Seems like a great happy place to me! No wonder you can stay in awesome shape then 🙂 My happy place isn’t exactly a physical place, it’s a state of mind where I know I’m making a positive difference to one or more people, and then I feel awesome!

    Although that’s undeniably great medicine, my best medicine is laughter, although I think working out comes closely behind! Nothing can cure me like a good bout of laughter, I’m not even sure I can describe how awesome it is!
    Nick Goodall recently posted…Recover With A Rest DayMy Profile

    • Nick, yes, laughter is amazing too. And I do tend to laugh a lot with my clients and group fitness participants (usually ’cause I’m goofing up my counting or choreography…)

  17. So many things are my happy place – being outside and running, hearing my kiddos laugh, snuggling with the hubs…glad you were able to get through sadness!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…Indoor Bike Trainer WorkoutMy Profile

  18. Exercise has been a good friend for a long time!

    Whatever has gone on in my life, exercise has remained a consistency.

  19. Whatever is causing pain/worry, know that I’m thinking of you. And heading to the gym helps calm me and release that sort of tension too.
    Tina @ Best Body Fitness recently posted…Breakfast, Snack, & Dessert In One Small Package (Recipe Included!)My Profile

  20. I hope everything is okay. I’m thinking about you and your family and hope the problems resolve quickly. A workout is a very happy time for me. There are many times that it’s really hard to get started, but there is *never* a time that I don’t feel better when I’m done. recently posted…What do you bring?My Profile

    • Thanks Carrie. We’ll have more info in a week or two, but I’m thinking that the news is likely to be bad…
      I will be hitting the gym a lot…

  21. The gym definitely is my happy place. My husband knows to send me there when I’m grumpy and off and cranky. I’m relieved to hear that you and your family are OK and I’m thinking of you!

    • Thanks Christine. My kids and hubby also tell me to workout (or knit) when I’m grumpy… Great that they know us so well!


  1. […] My gym. After a week of super short body weight workouts and leisurely strolls around the block, my body craves the gym. Squats, lunges, pushes and pulls. Heavy and intense enough to fatigue my muscles and facilitate a good night’s sleep (see #1). Nothing energizes me quite like a visit to my happy place. […]