Missing: Morning Motivation

My morning mojo is gone.

I shouldn’t be surprised; I’m about as night-owly as they come. My ideal sleeping schedule would be 2 a.m. – 10 a.m., and given that I spent most of the past two years as a grad student, I was able to live that fantasy for longer than was probably healthy.

But when I went back to work in September, I recommitted myself to the concept of morning workouts. By this point, I’m well aware that if I don’t work out in the morning — especially in the winter — it’s unlikely to get done. My couch is awesome, I love television, and once it’s dark, I’m not moving. I’ll make exceptions for post-work yoga or the spin classes my gym only offers at night, but if it’s something like swimming or running that requires my own motivation (versus a financial commitment or a published schedule) to get me out the door? It’s happening before work or it’s not happening at all.

(It’s worth noting that when I say “morning” I’m not talking about 5:15 a.m. I know who you people are, and you’re freaking heroes. I’m talking, maybe my alarm goes off at 6:30. The sun is nearly up; it’s not even that early. Just to give true color to the wimpiness.)

For about three months, my “Get Up and #&*^#^ing Sweat” alarm did its job. Sure, sometimes I overslept and got myself to the pool with juuuuust enough time for 30 minutes of laps; sometimes I ran 3 miles instead of 5. But for the most part, I was out of bed and doing something by 7 a.m., which gives me a solid hour for a workout — even 90 minutes if I push it. I made running dates with friends at hours I hadn’t been awake for in years! I learned to shower at the gym! I figured out I could ditch my stuff at the 24-Hour Fitness near work while I ran along the water in the mornings (and, later, that I could blow-dry my hair with the gym’s hand dryer)! That trickling sound you hear is the pride seeping from my very veins, because dammit, I was a morning exerciser!

And then 2012 hit, and with it came a deep desire to burrow under my covers.

I think I’m looking at a little bit of burnout, a little bit of aimlessness, and a little bit of valid excuse. Not feeling great? OK, yes, sure, sleep it off. Just a couple of races left on the schedule? Well, I’m still running, aren’t I? Triathlon training starting soon? Well, I’m sure those coaches will change up everything I’m doing anyway, so why bother maintaining a soon-to-be-outdated training plan?

But when I’m still awake at 6:30, just using that time to read Twitter on my phone and wonder why the garbage trucks have to make such a racket so early and think about how comfortable bed is and maybe slip back into a brief nap … well, would it really be that hard to just put my feet on the floor and then put shoes on my feet?

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5 thoughts on “Missing: Morning Motivation

  1. Kelly says:

    ugh, it has got to be hard to switch your sleep schedule like that. I read an article recently that talked about how people can change their circadian rhythms and it was really interesting! It was in the NYT Magazine if you’re interested!

    • Kimra says:

      Oooh! I remember seeing that story but at the time, I was like, “Yeah, I got this figured out.” I should really go back and read it. Thanks for the tip!

  2. katie says:

    I used to be such a night owl and then I got old and now I can’t stay awake past 9pm. Enjoy it while it is here!

    • Kimra says:

      I can definitely tell I need another hour of sleep these days, but I’m just so resistant to getting it on the early-bedtime end of things! I guess that’s what all of us olds do eventually though…

  3. Emily says:

    I’m going to rename all of my early morning alarms to “Get Up and #&*^#^ing Sweat.” I love it.

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