When I pull back my polka-dot shower curtain and climb into my shower stall, I might as well be boarding a plane: I’m about to swoosh away into a whole other world. Technically, I’m in my little rectangular bathroom, I know. But sealed in there with a strong stream of hot water and my delicious soapy potions, I bump into big thoughts like this: there are really two worlds in my life–my me-zone here inside the shower, and everyplace else.
It’s amazing how consistently a shower any time of the day makes my spirits rise along with the steam. And I’m not just talking about the luxurious beauty benefits of a good deep conditioning or an exfoliating scrub. When I’m in there, I’ll daydream about everything and nothing: practical things like career goals and more fanciful stuff like becoming queen of my own island. I’ll belt out my top five favourite tunes. I’ll mull over international conflicts I’m learning about on my yellow shower radio. Or I’ll contemplate the feistiness of bathtub mildew. But the result is, when I rejoin the real world, my shower–my power place–will have transformed me into a saner, brighter, more energized version of me.
You probably have your own special power place. Packed with soul-boosting benefits, your me-zone is definitely worth celebrating. And what better way to do it than to hear the tales of three Canadian women who zip away on a regular basis to their own tiny private world. After all, if these personal places are like mini-getaways, they come with great vacation stories.
Who she is Lyn Worrell is an accountant who works at a busy real estate development office.
Where she goes For the past five years, Lyn has been faithful to her after-work getaway zone: her apartment’s swimming pool. At least three times a week before dinner, she slips into her swimsuit, grabs her cap and treks down to the second floor for 30 to 40 minutes of laps. It isn’t always easy. “I go year-round,” she says,” but when I come home and it’s 30 below and snowing, I sometimes think, ‘Oh, it would be so nice to veg.’ But I make the effort to do it and I’m always glad once I get in”.
What it’s like As it’s a small building, Lyn usually has the place to herself, so she lets herself dissolve into the experience. “It’s very quiet in there,” she says of the pool area. “There’s the lapping of the water as I do my lengths. It’s peaceful. It sort of sounds as if you’re in the ocean.” If she looks up from her rhythmic side-stroking–she’s a calm, steady non-splashy swimmer–she can even see the trees through the windows. But, for the most part, she’s more focused on her movements than her surroundings. I’m not really paying attention to anything other than just going up and down and listening to the sound of the water,” she says.
Why it’s worth the trip Aside from the great fitness benefits Lyn now feels stronger and more energetic than she did before she began her program–her regular swims help her decompress. “Before I started, I had no way of getting rid of whatever baggage I took home from the workday,” she says. “I’d start into the routine of the evening, getting supper ready and that kind of stuff, and by the time I’d go to bed, it was still with me.” Now, if she can’t get her swim in–occasionally the pool will be closed for maintenance–she doesn’t feel quite right. “I get kind of restless,” she says. Without a trip to her zone, relaxation doesn’t come easily.