Thursday, January 10, 2013

Okay, okay! I’m up... I'm up...

Never mind my crappy mileage - look at the temp
outside when I got home from the gym! See, it
does get almost-freezing in California... sometimes...
The fact that I did it the first day was surprising. The fact that I’ve done it on eight of the last nine days is downright astounding. 

No, not it, you Pervy McPerverson. I’m talking about going to the gym. I’ve gone to the gym eight times in the last nine days, and gotten up at 5AM to do so. BOOM! Yeah, that’s right. 

Let’s be clear about one thing. I am not a morning person. If I had my way, I would stay up all night and sleep in all day, and I did that for a long time. But then I became a grown-up and had to do grown-up things that required me to rise at a grown-up hour. Then I became a mom, so sleeping in any day of the week, even on vacation, just doesn’t happen.

Even though adult and parenting responsibilities now get me out of bed earlier than I would like, 5AM is still an ungodly hour. When my alarm goes off, I jump up with a start and turn it off, and then I half-sit/half-lay there for another moment in denial that it’s 5AM already, and I question my sanity. My bed is so warm and soft, and the bathroom floor is so cold. “Why am I doing this,” I silently moan as I drag my weary self across the cold floor and slam my puffy eyes shut again against the harsh light.

I hate mornings. Okay, “hate” is a strong word. Rather, I greatly dislike mornings. I mean, the sunrise is beautiful and everything, and I know people get up early just to see her, but she and I will never be BFFs. Yet, there she is greeting me every morning as I leave the gym, all perky with her bright red, orange and purple outfit on like she’s in a frickin’ GAP commercial or something. Then there's me, all sweaty, wearing yoga pants and an old tank top, last night's ponytail and no make-up. And I'm pretty sure I still have a giant pillow crease going across the side of my face. But whatever. It's not like I'm jealous of her or anything. 

But even though we’ll never gab over coffee or text each other, Sunrise and I have found a way to be civil toward one another, you know, as to not make it awkward for our mutual friends. She gives me a big, fake smile and an exaggerated “Hiiiiiii!!!!!!” I give her little "Hey" and a half-nod back, and then I drive home to shower while she continues to be perfect and annoying.

So why do I choose this insane hour to complete an activity that requires way more energy than one can naturally muster so early in the morning? Because it’s either 5AM or nothing. And so I choose 5AM.

Quinn hates the day care room at the gym, and I don't have anyone to watch him for me. Hubs works until dinner time, and we wouldn’t have any couple-time if I went to the gym at night after Q goes to bed. So I go to the gym before Hubs leaves for work. Even though I’m exhausted much earlier at night now and I occasionally need a Red Bull to propel me through the afternoon, my attitude is so much better (which is also helping me to choose joy more often). After only a week, I can’t see a difference in my body yet, but I can feel it. I can already lift more weight, do more reps, and run a few more minutes before the sweat starts. My muscles are harder, my body is stronger and my confidence is higher. That’s worth the 5AM wake-up call.

My cousin commented on my Choose post and said that she's starting to exercise as well because she’s “choosing her hard.” I love that! Getting up early is hard. Exercising is hard. But being overweight, unhealthy and un-confident is hard, too. So which “hard” do I want?

Getting up early means going to bed a little earlier, which means giving up some of my Me Time, and that’s hard, too. Yes, I deserve that Me Time at night, and yes, I deserve those two extra hours of sleep in the morning, and there may be some days when I will choose those things over the gym. But I also deserve to have a healthy body, to live longer, to feel more confident, to feel good in my own skin. And so on most days, I will choose the gym.

I don't like getting up early, or the cold ride in the car, or starting my workout with my eyes still half-shut. But soon, I get into my groove. My heart beats faster in my chest. My music beats faster in my ears. By the time I’m done, I feel fantastic. I love driving home before 7AM having already accomplished something.

So I'll see you tomorrow, Sunrise. (Bitch.)