Monthly Archives: September 2013

Confessions of an early riser

Standard

Will sleepingI wake up most mornings around 4:45am. My actual work day begins at 8am, so it is not necessary that I get up this early. I must be a “morning person”, right? Here is the confession…I am not a morning person. Yep, you hear that right – I am not naturally a morning person. I swear, I’m not!  One day it just happened.

I worked in the restaurant industry most of my early adult life. My shifts started late in the day and ended late into the night. I functioned quite well on this schedule and preferred it. Then I started working business hours (8am – 5pm) and thought that I was going to die. To my credit, I still maintained a part-time bartending job during my first two office jobs and would close the bar around midnight, get out around 1am, and then have to be at the office at 8am. It was rough. Even when I quit bartending, I found myself enjoying late nights and hitting the snooze button waaaaaay too many times in the morning. Why oh why did the morning have to come so early?

Then William was born. I came to the realization that there was no reason to try to get him to sleep later into the mornings since I would be going back to work soon. Even then I knew that I was much more pleasant in the mornings than my husband, so my adapting to mornings began. I still wasn’t fully sold on waking up before the sun until after Collin was born. Like magic, one morning, as both sons slept, it all came together. I just happened to get up before the rest of my family and got so much accomplished, including a little downtime for myself. As each person woke up I was excited to greet them into the day and happy that I already had so much behind me. I was genuinely enjoying my family.

This streak continued. The earlier that I woke up, the more things actually got done. When I was a night owl, I’d find myself so tired after a long day that I would just veg out. Waking up early I felt refreshed and ready to tackle my looming to-do list. And the cycle continued.

Now, I’m not a perfect, happy to rise, ready to take on the day (every. single. day) person. I’m not saying that I never stay up too late watching shows that I don’t even care about. Or hit the snooze button one time too many. I even have visions that one day I will sit on my bedroom balcony in the coolness of the morning with a steaming cup of coffee in my hand as I wait for the rest of my house to wake up, but I haven’t made that a reality once.

There are drawbacks, too. I was once alert and ready to take on anything at 3pm, but now as that hour gets closer I can feel my eyelids drooping and I know that I’ll be at my worst for the rest of the day.  I actually go to bed (and try to sleep) at 9:30pm. I feel like I’m 10 years old again sometimes. As tired as I am in the evenings, these precious moments in the morning are still worth it to me to set that alarm for an ungodly hour and greet the day. And heck, now when I go to bed everything is finished. It was before anyone else even woke up. My days start and end with accomplishment.

I chuckle when my friends make jokes about never getting up that early, ever. I smile and nod as I hear someone tell me how they will never be able to become a morning person. I empathize with those trying to change their schedule and attempt this early morning challenge. But I have a secret, I was them. I’ll never tell, though. They wouldn’t believe me anyway.

Good morning and let me know if you want a wake up call 🙂

Ready. Set. GO!

Standard

images (2)I never thought that I would say this, but I’m a runner. Nothing is chasing me. No one is forcing me. I go outside and run and it’s actually kind of fun.

It all started in May. I had my revision surgery and a good friend (that I don’t see often enough) took me out to breakfast. I still wasn’t allowed to drive, so it really was a huge treat. As we sat and ate, she told me that she started training for her first 5k in March. I don’t think that she was ever a “runner”. I mean, sure she ran before, haven’t we all taken gym class?

I know a few runners. They are skinny girls that have been running since high school. They ran and kept off baby weight. They ran many, many marathons. And overall, they are very, very skinny. But my friend didn’t fit into either of these categories. She’d never run seriously, especially not since high school. She enjoyed eating during her pregnancy and gained weight naturally, as expected. She had never run a marathon. She continues to struggle with her weight. If this woman in her early 30s could pick up running then why can’t I?

I took recommendations and got fitted for shoes, downloaded the Couch to 5k (C25K) app, found a running partner (who is in her mid-40s and has never run), bought some gear, and by early July I was running. Well, kind of. At least I was not walking.

Everyone told me that the beginning would be brutal, but as I looked through the weeks through the app I couldn’t imagine how running 90 seconds could be worse than running 20+ minutes. They were right. Those first weeks were brutal and thank goodness I was determined. I would barely make it up the steps into my house and collapse on the nearest piece of furniture for as long as possible. My legs would continue to wobble as I went through my day at work. At night I would barely make it into bed, where I would collapse. Again.

I would marvel at runners in our town, going more than mere feet with such ease. Running through town and venturing far from their homes, confident that their bodies would bring them back. Unknowingly, they kept the dream alive that someday I would be a real runner. As I dreamed, I ran. As I ran, my body became stronger. The other day I bounced up my front steps after a 2 mile run.

I still hurt. My muscles still rebel. My lungs still get angry. My body still adjusts. But early this morning, I ran around our town. I ventured a decent distance from my house and ran almost 2.5 miles. I’m getting it. I’m seeing why people do this. I’m 6 weeks into the C25K app (it’s an 8 week program) and I’m signed up for my first 5k on September 28th. I’m excited. Even though I’m not ready, I’m not there yet, I know I’m a beginner and I’m still excited.

Each day, each run makes me one step closer to being a real runner. For the beginners, it’s true. 90 seconds in the beginning is so much worse than 20+ minutes in the end. Stay with it – you got this! And if you need encouragement or motivation, leave a comment. I’ll be there for you. Ask my running partner – I actually hit her once so that she would keep going (and she did). I’ll try not to use physical violence with you, though.

Ready. Set. GO!