Do you want to be a morning runner? Do you know people who seem to thrive in the morning? They wake up loaded with rocket fuel and just tackle the day before the day can tackle them? Do you wish you could be half that perky?
I have a secret. I once was a morning person. I mean a truly happy-to-be-awake morning person. I used to attend CrossFit classes at 5:30 in the morning and actually smiled about it. Daily. Without complaint.
Other days, I was a consistent morning runner.
So what happened and can I get those glory days of beautiful morning feelings back?
First, I know its an excuse, but living in an RV really took a toll on normal activities. I didn’t have a place to store ANYTHING. I constantly felt like was on the most jacked up vacation for 2 years.
That made it hard to pack a workout bag, prep meals and water bottles, vitamins, regular school clothes, lunch box, etc.
Just thinking about trying to do all that was an instant snooze button smack.
Second, I got injured. I’ve had a very nagging knee issue since that unfortunate incident while trying to climb Mt. Bierdstadt. I slipped on ice and one leg bent awkwardly and my knee took most of my weight. I hobbled for days on it. I let it rest for a few months before returning to running again, but it’s not right and I need to have it fixed.
Third, I began working a second job. I work 3 days a week after school until 5pm. I’m working at my school in a tutoring program and I love it.
I really see a difference in the lives of the kids in our program. They know their program teachers (all of us) really want to see them succeed since we’re willing to work with them late into the day.
However, that means that getting back to the RV by 6pm made it very hard to spend a lot of time on a mission hunt for clothes, meals, bags, etc for a 5:30am class and 4:45 wake-up call.
I clearly lost my morning mojo with so much stuff in storage limbo. Some things were in the Rv, many items were packed up on high shelves. I threw some clothes in the makeshift drawers in the shop.
I just put morning workouts off until the house was built.
So how do I get this morning energy back? How can I once again annoy the ever living daylights out of normal morning haters?
1. Think like a morning runner.
That means go to bed early.
Going to bed at 1 am with my Kindle under the covers is no way to approach morning annoyance attempts. If I’m not in bed with lights off by 10, forget it.
2. Meal prep the night before.
That includes lunch for school, morning coffee, whatever shake or breakfast I’m eating before a workout, snacks, extra water.
Lay it all out. Label it in the fridge with “MINE” notes.
I need to be able to put it all together blindfolded since that’s pretty much what I will feel like before 8am.
3. Prevent wardrobe malfunctions.
Waiting until 4:45 am to pick out any clothing is a nightmare waiting to happen. Something crucial is going to get left behind.
That mysterious hole in my boob section of the workout shirt is going to be forgotten until I walk in the door. Those “skinny days” pants that are supposed to be on the bottom of the stack somehow find their way in my gym bag. I’ll have to risk scaring small children with my pants selection.
The black shirt is actually blue and we all know that just won’t work with black too-tight pants.
And let’s not forget the proverbial 2 left shoes since I insist on 2 pairs of Nike flip flops for school teacher fashion.
Lay all that gear out the night before!
4. Take notes the night before.
This is something new to me and I do not know how I functioned without it. Before I turn off the light, I check my calendar and I make a to-do list for the next day.
For some reason, having a plan and knowing it’s right there for the next day allows me to mentally let all that stuff go and actually sleep once I’m ready.
5. Music. Turned all the way up.
This works depending on the living situation. But, when I can, I turn on music as soon as I wake up and I keep it loud and proud while I’m yanking on already-decided-upon workout gear.
6. If you really need sleep, don’t skimp on it.
I am a die-hard believer that lack of sleep makes me ugly, tired, old, and fat.
Yes, I used all those words in one sentence and I meant it.
When I’m dealing with chronic sinus infections and can’t get good sleep, I rival serial killers’ mugshots for a week. And not the rugged lumberjack ones. The ones jacked up on whatever they could find in neighbor’s lawn mowers.
Sleep is crucial to my mental state and my God-given, Momma-shared skin genes. I got very lucky in that department and I can still pass for early 30’s IF I have good sleep and moisturize like a boss.
During my die-hard days, I aimed for 3 early morning classes a week. I would sleep in on most Mondays and Thursdays.
Mondays are for going in early to school. I slept in on Thursdays because I would have 2 back-to-back CrossFit workouts PLUS 2 late afternoon running training sessions. Thursdays were rest days.
Fridays were my most common days to get up early because we can wear jeans and school shirts so my wardrobe decisions were that much easier.
So there you go. It takes time and obviously not everyone wants or will be willing to reform to a morning person.
Some people are seasonal morning people. I’m actually better at mornings in the fall and winter than spring and summer.
Spring in the south means awful morning allergies that turn me into a snooty zombie.
I’ll let you know how it works for me. I’m attempting to cut back a day on my after school job and I joined a new gym.
But just in case, there’s always this.