My goal all last winter was to keep running rather than fall into the pseudo-hibernation routine I’ve had in previous years. Because I had a goal and a training plan for the marathon I was motivated to get up and get going. Only a few mornings of extreme temperatures or winter storms kept me in bed, but otherwise I was out running in the dark and the cold and loving it. There is something about getting up early and starting the day with a work-out that makes me feel as though I’ve started the day on the right foot. By the time I start working, it’s rewarding to think about what I’ve already accomplished in the morning simply because I went for a run or to the gym.
In a perfectly balanced world I would get up at 5:30a.m. and get in a run or a spin class or a strength session and go on with my day, eating three perfectly balanced and healthy meals, and tuck myself into bed around 10p.m. only to start over the next day. For whatever reason, I have utterly lost that balance and those routines. Do you know that feeling? Where all of a sudden life takes over without you even knowing it and all the time you spend trying to catch up actually makes you fall farther behind? Or, at least it feels that way.This is the stage at which exercise and eating right tends to get neglected. I’m very conscious of the fact that I am close to this stage and I will do everything in my power not to let myself slip, which means I must change my routine. The longer a work day gets, the harder it becomes to get up at the crack of dawn. Despite the fact that I am a morning person and I much prefer to work-out in the morning, I am realizing that it’s just not always going to be possible. If I want to stick to my new training plan, I am going to have to accept that some of those work-outs will have to happen in the evening. I am also opening the door to the possibility of running during the day on my lunch break.
Change is hard. I wish it wasn’t. When my alarm goes off and I hit the snooze button way more than I should, I feel guilty about not getting up and running and in my half-awake state I think through how else I can fit exercise into the day. I don’t intend to switch to evening work-outs and lunch runs forever, but I certainly don’t want to lose them all together just because I got “busy” with life.
This is a good lesson. Change will happen, routines will come and go, “life” does not care when you prefer to work-out. But it’s up to you, and me, to choose to adjust.