I shot this 3-minute video in Aracaju, Brazil, back in 2018.

That’s when I decided to join and start my own private 5 am club — Yup just me and my non-existant multiple personalities. I’m a party of one so if others join, then fantastic! 

On the first solo day at the beach house, a pack of wild dogs started chasing me along the shoreline. At first, I thought they wanted to eat me alive (how naive), so I bolted hip-deep into the pounding waves and stood there 20 feet from shore for 10 minutes — just deep enough to keep the dogs at bay. 

I barely kept balance as my left arm extended well up into the sky in an attempt to keep my new iPhone dry. It dangled a few precarious feet above the waves. 

I felt little creatures nibbling at my toes. Probably my imagination, but the scores of freshly washed-up blue jellyfish did not instil confidence in my predicament. 

Remember, this is all new to me. I’m from Canada, and here we ALL live in igloos and are too polite — eh!  

Surely these dogs cant be dangerous? Why me and not the other joggers? Perhaps it was my pasty white-meat, salt and pepper beard, burly ‘Pappa Gringo.” — mmmm tasty!  

I believe that in the tropics, I have that tourist look that says, “I’m a naive, vulnerable, semi-lost tourist just asking to be hassled by someone or something.”

Flashing my tattoos and puffing up my chest works well in Asia, but not so much in Brazil. 

Although not many folks were up at 5 am that day, I was painfully aware that I barely spoke a word of Portugues beyond, Obrigado and Cerveja. 

How could I possibly ask for assistance lying there bleeding to death as a rabid doge ran off with my foot? 

–See how easy it is to catastrophize a situation!?!

Eventually, I stood there, assessing day one of my new mourning routine predicament and concluded that the dogs just wanted to play and were likely interpreting my splashing and kicking as an invitation to play.  

Getting up early to walk along a gorgeous beach first thing in the morning is the natural part. Showing up and taking your first step on any journey is the challenge. 

My tropical commitment to start the day early had proven unrealistic for me once I arrived back home to frigid Toronto winters.

The right environment has a tremendous impact on your willpower (or lack of it) — a tropical beach versus road slush and Toronto Transit breakdowns. — it’s a no brainer – eh!

By February, back home, I had adjusted my schedule to a 6 am rise. I know once the beautiful summer weather hits, while living on my sailboat at Toronto Island, that getting up at 5 am to cycle along the sunrise boardwalk, journal and read will be a breeze!

With lots of PASSION,

Dan 

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