Posted On:
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Updated On:
Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Coach Tip Tuesday: Choose JOY!

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Three red, square-shaped candle votive holders with gold dusted onto them that each have a letter cut out of them.  Together, these three votive holders spell ‘JOY’.  There is a single flame visible through the ‘J’ and another single flame visible through the ‘Y’.

Can you believe it?  It’s the final Coach Tip Tuesday of 2020!

Today’s tip is inspired by my wonderful parents, who met on this exact day 37 years ago.  On that day, my father told his brother that he had met “the woman he was going to marry.”  Effectively (although they didn’t fully realize it at the time), my parents did something that day that I’m here to encourage all of you to do today:

They chose each other, and in doing so, they did something bigger than that: they chose joy.  So today, I’m telling you to choose joy. :)

The majority of what I do is one-on-one, individualized, and deeply personal work with people.  As such, I get a front-row seat at many happenings in their lives, many of which the rest of the world is not privy to.  This is the most sacred part of my job: in order to be able to share this side of themselves with me, the people I’m working with must trust me.

As such, without getting into tremendous detail (and speaking from personal experience here as well), I can tell you that EVERYONE has some battle going on in their life that you likely know nothing about.  And it’s not a competition for whose battle is the “toughest;” in the scope of each person’s life, the battle(s) that they are fighting are tough for them, and that is what matters.

However, what I’ve also learned (both by making this choice in my own life and by observing it in countless others) is this:

It IS possible to find the good, and therefore choose joy.  

If we look hard enough, even on our saddest, darkest days, there is something to smile about.  Maybe a loved one shares a funny story.  Perhaps the sun shines just the right way.  Maybe one of our animal companions acts like a fool.  Perhaps we felt just a smidge more invigorated after a walk to get the mail.  Maybe we saw a goofy photo.  Perhaps we watched a favorite movie or re-read a favorite passage from a book.  Maybe a happy memory comes to the surface of our minds.

Truly, no matter how small, there is ALWAYS something (even a little something!) good that happens in each and every day.

Have you ever lit a single candle in an otherwise dark room?  If you have, you have observed first-hand what a tremendous impact that single flame can have on the entire room.  

If you’ve been reading what I write or if you’ve worked with me, you know that I LOVE visual storytelling and that I LOVE analogies.  So yes, my friends, I am using this candle analogy this week. :)

The flame of the candle in a dark room is like a small, happy moment in a dark day.  Sure, it’s small, but it has the power to grow and bring warmth and light.  “Feeding” that fire helps it to grow to bring more of that warmth and light.  Similarly, “feeding” happy or joyful moments helps them to hold more power in our brains and in our lives.

So this week, as we transition from 2020 to 2021, no matter our current circumstances, I encourage you all to choose joy. You truly do have the power to do this. Write it down if it helps you, but find something good - no matter how small - every day. And as you start focusing on that good and start compiling that list, I think (and hope!) that you will see that there is joy in each of your lives.

Happy New Year, my friends.  Thanks for taking this journey around the sun with me.  I look forward to more adventures with you all in 2021!


Coach Laura Henry

Laura Henry is a Syracuse, NY-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Long Course and Level II Paratriathlon Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, VFS Certified Bike Fitter, and has successfully completed NASM's Certified Personal Trainer course. Coach Laura is passionate about helping athletes of all ability levels reach their goals and has coached many athletes to success.

She can be reached at

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