I’ve been waking up at 7:00 a.m. this week. Not only that, but instead of rolling over and going back to sleep, I’ve been getting out of bed at 7:03. And it’s not because I took a part-time newspaper delivery job or because I’ve been driving friends to the airport. I’ve been getting up early to exercise.
To put this in perspective, I was the girl in middle school who slept in her clothes so she could sleep an extra five minutes in the morning. I had to get up at 6:00 a.m. to wait at the bus corner in the dark with Orion. I wore contact lenses one summer, but quit when school started because it took two whole minutes to stick the little plastic films in my eyes. Those were two minutes I preferred to spend drooling on my pillow.
If you’d told me that 10 years later I’d voluntarily be getting up that early to exercise, I would have laughed and laughed and fallen off the couch and that would have been all the cardio I’d have gotten that day. Yet here I am, writing a blog entry after a seven o’clock Pilates workout. It’s possible my adult sleeping patterns have kicked in. You need less sleep the older you get. I also keep a regular sleep schedule and I’m frequently out of bed by 9:00 a.m. on the weekends. At least the sun is shining at 7:00, which wasn’t the case at the bus stop.
I’ve always exercised in the evenings, right when I get home from work. But this left me feeling slightly worried because even after working for eight hours and commuting for one, I still had 30-60 minutes of exercise to complete. Even though I was at home, I had more work to do before I could really relax for the evening. There was always the possibility I would make an excuse to skip it or that I’d have something else to do that night which would mess with my plans. Getting my weights or Pilates done in the morning eases my mind since I know I’ve already gotten that out of the way for the day. It’s nice coming home and knowing the rest of the day is free for me to do as I please. Well, mostly. I’ve still been doing my walking and biking in the evenings because there’s no way I’m getting up at 6:00 to cram all that in.
It’s still a struggle though. When I’m staggering out of bed and trying not to stub my toe on the baseboards, I seriously think about going back to bed. But I put on my workout clothes anyway and tell myself, “You don’t get to eat breakfast until you finish your workout.” This is basically the only thing making me workout. I really want that bowl of cinnamon oatmeal. And my cat really loves getting a bowl of cat food an hour earlier too.
Hopefully I can keep this up. When winter comes and it’s dark in the mornings I may stop. I flirted briefly with running in the mornings last fall and it didn’t suit me. I’ll take it as it comes, day by day, just as I always do. And there will always be oatmeal in the mornings, no matter what time it is.