I know I always talk about getting up in the morning but I have a really good reason; for most people, it’s the hardest part of getting in an early morning workout. This morning was especially hard for me. I wasn’t really tired, I was just *warm*. And it was 44 degrees and raining outside. I didn’t want to go.
What finally did the trick? Tammy. Which makes her reason number 5 in my Top Five Reasons to Get Out of Bed in the Morning. (And, yes, that’s a pretty shameless headline tactic and, no, I don’t really think I’m fooling you.)
5. Tammy: Last week Tammy and I trucked up the backside of Mt Tabor together. When we leaned into the grade she said,”You have to push me today, Heidi.” So I did. She started to slip back and I made her take 10 quick steps to close the gap. When she rejoined me I told her it was her turn to push the pace and she did. Tammy is a workhorse and true hero material. This morning when I considered staying snuggly warm in my to-die-for Sleep Number bed I thought of her. I knew she’d show up for the workout and I knew she’d be leaning into that hill by herself if I didn’t do the same.
4. Stumptown Coffee: A few weeks ago after a Wednesday morning Mt. Tabor run I drove to the Stumptown on Division. As I pulled in I recognized someone from class parking across the street. I spotted her inside, waved, and said, “This is all I think about while we are suffering up there on that hill: ‘Stumptown, Stumptown, Stumptown'” (This is only a slight exaggeration. I also sometimes think about all the various ways I might physically harm Daniel for putting us through so much pain. But mostly it’s ‘Stumptown’.) Every day after my morning boot camp I go to Stumptown, buy two Americanos, and drive back home where I wake Sammy up and deliver his steaming hot cup of love. We drink coffee in bed together and discuss our plans for the day while he wakes up.
3. Eminem: It may be sad, but it’s still true. Sometimes what finally convinces me to abandon my down comforter is the thought of sitting in my car on the way to boot camp with the heat on full blast and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” cranking at an ungodly volume. Something about listening to music that intense, at that volume, at that delicate hour of the morning just feels really right.
2. Pulling ahead: I have always told people that I love being on the east coast for one reason and one reason alone; if you get up at 4:30am on the east coast you are so far ahead of everyone on the west coast they don’t have a chance in hell of catching up to you. This is a ridiculous line of reasoning, I know. But still, I find it comforting to know that by 6:30am I have already put in a major physical effort for the day. My cross-country coach used to always yell from the window of his van while we were running, “I bet Kennedy [our rival] is working harder right now!” At five-thirty in the morning I feel pretty good about the fact that Kennedy is almost assuredly not working harder than me.
This all probably makes me sound really off my rocker, I realize, but my point can be applied even for those not certifiably insane. Getting it done early ensures that it actually does get done, and it starts your day off on the right foot; with one small victory.
1. Stuff like this:
The number one reason why I’ve been motivating early lately? Dawn rocks, people! The world is twinkly and still and soft and brilliant and quiet. Magical. Moving. Motivating. Sunrise is in a league all by itself, I promise you this.
So there you have it – my current top five pre-dawn motivators. They’re specific to me but the principals are pretty straightfoward:
1. Develop circumstances that require accountability.
2. Build in a rewards system – we are really just like monkeys in this respect, I promise!
3. Establish motivating rituals and then refer back to them.
4. Remind yourself how it will affect the rest of your day – dig deep to recall the post-workout euphoria that launches you in the the rest of your tasks.
5. Remember that seeing the world all pretty and sleepy is a privilege that only early-birdies get to enjoy (go get your worm, woman!)
Sickened by my upbeat attitude yet? Me too. See you tomorrow morning.