Temperature highs are pushing 90 degrees and the days are long with sunsets well past 8pm.
My workout routine is pushing personal records. 6+ mile runs, Sunday bike rides, and intensive gardening to boot as I transplant sunflowers and tomatoes I started from saved seed.
Oh, how a refreshing beer beckons on a sweltering afternoon! How Deschutes Black Butte Porter or Fresh Squeezed IPA lures me with the promise of unwinding on a long summer evening.
But NO! Just as I must get out from the warm covers in the cold winter to rise early and seize the morning, I must resist the allure of an ice-cold beer.
Because that is not the athlete I want to be.
Because I do not want to reward myself with such a treat after a day of hard exercise and homestead labor.
Because I want the labor in itself to be the reward. To feel satisfied through the work and the outcome.
Because I don’t want to seek an external reward via a “treat”.
Because I want to unwind my afternoons and evenings fully sober as I continue to seize the day.
Because I don’t want my thinking to become cloudy and impede any ounce of potential.
Because I want to go to bed feeling good, clean, strong, and limber.
Because I don’t want to compromise my sleep quality with struggling digestion of alcohol or thirst the next morning.
Because I want to rise early the next day for a sunrise lake run, hill walk, tomato watering, and to see the hens’ first waking moments as they rise with the sun.
I want full control of my senses and seek refreshment in ways that are truly quenching.
This post’s photo is from a painted rock along Lake Michigan, near Loyola University in Chicago. I passed by this on a bike ride in September 2013 and it remains a favorite.