For a number of reasons, I have no idea what time the average person wakes up. Here are just a few:
- I’m in college. No college student has a ‘real world’ schedule.
- I’m a rower. Waking up at 5:30am is considered sleeping in.
- I’m in my twenties. If there’s any time to cheat yourself on sleep, I’m pretty sure it’s now. The lack of sleep in my next decade won’t be voluntary, I’m sure.
- Why sleep? I’m superhuman. At least in the dreams that I’m asleep long enough to have.
Before I started my 5 o’clock wake up calls last fall, I don’t know that I (or anyone else that’s ever lived with me or witnessed me waking up) would classify myself as a “morning person.” But since I started rowing, waking up has gotten easier and easier. And I know the whole idea that if you do something for 21 days it becomes a habit–and getting up has–but I don’t know if that idea applies to the extreme and unbearable doses of grumpiness that I dish out in the morning.
I was on my way to practice at around 5:30am today and I thought to myself: I’m up (why do I do this to myself?!), I don’t want to be, but regardless of how I feel, I have to do this workout–so why not choose to do it? And with that minor tweak in my mentality, my whole day changes–literally. On the way back to campus, I thought: I’m up, I don’t really want to sleep (okay, maybe just a little), but I am so glad that I killed that workout. Just like that, my morning was made. And we all know that a good morning= the most essential starting ingredient for a great day.
Getting up to go workout or be active (whether it’s fresh out of bed in the morning or rolling off the couch at 4pm) is always the hardest part. But you’ll never regret a good workout, and no matter how awful a workout turns out (say that ten times fast), it’s always better than no workout. When I’m not in season, I have to find ways to get myself out of the house and in the zone. The easiest ways that I’ve found to motivate myself are to:
- Tell others (usually my sister) that I’m planning on working out. Then when she asks about my run or my CrossFit wod (which I know she will because she’s so darn competitive), I’ll be horrified if I didn’t actually go (P.S. it’s okay to exaggerate how strong you are and how amazing of a workout you had; it works wonders).
- Before I go to bed, I pick an activity that sounds fun to do in the morning. Sometimes I wake up and think: What was I thinkingggg?! There’s no way I’m doing that. And that’s totally okay; I just pick something else. At least I still have a game plan and time carved out for a good sweat.
- Plan workouts with friends! Some of my favorite things to do are to go on runs or hikes with some excellent company. I mean, as type-A as gym dates and scheduled sweat seshs are, they’ll definitely keep your schedule booked with some elevated heart rate (especially if (s)he is a cutie!).
- And the most important piece of motivation that I am constantly preaching to myself is to remember that I define my health; whether I kick my own booty with hang cleans (my personal fave) or take a leisurely (aka slow) stroll through the hills (sure, you can call it a hike), I’m improving myself and taking steps towards creating the healthiest and happiest life that I possibly can.
Is it weird that I workout twice a day, six days a week and still want to be active on my
weekend one day off a week? Totally. But everyone’s a little weird and crazy, right? And if there’s a time to be crazy and push your limits, it’s today. Worrying about what you did or didn’t do yesterday is wasted energy, saving yourself for tomorrow is a missed opportunity, but today? Today is a chance at change; today is a chance to give yourself purpose. Because as of right now, today is all you have. So cherish it, relish in it, but most of all: make the most of it. Not everyone loves to hit the pavement with their runners laced up or ‘lift heavy things just to put them down’ (as my sister would say); but there is something for everyone, and you can’t deny yourself that. Give yourself a chance to be great. If you do–if you honestly give yourself the opportunity that you deserve–I promise you’ll blow your own damn mind.
I’m cheering for you.