It is the second day of January and I wore shorts. The day started off stormy. Dark and thundery clouds rolled in fast, followed by rain that came in sideways. It was 7.30am and I was at the box (the CrossFit gym), having just finished my workout. But by lunchtime, the sun broke out and the sky was gloriously blue. I met with some new Texas friends of mine at a little place where the kids could run and play as we sipped our coffees in sunglasses. Compared to wearing winter coats well into May as we might have in the UK, I have to say that I love the warm Texas weather!
In the sunshine, our conversation drifted to this and that, taking a moment now and then to get a juice for some little person or stop another one from wandering too far off. The cycle studio I have recently started teaching at, CycleBar, sits just a short walk from where we watched the children play and my friends asked how I was enjoying it. Enjoying it? I am loving it! They are supportive and would like to try it, but are less than impressed by my 5am time slot. They offer sympathy, kind as they are, but they need to know – I’m good! And, I love the energy and dedication my 5am warriors bring to their bikes! They have shit to do with their days, so they want to get their fitness in and get on with their day! They are dedicated, which is one better than being motivated. It means they do it, whether they really feel like it, or not.
Getting up early isn’t for everyone. Nor does it suit every schedule. For me, though, it is a wonderful part of my time so far in Texas. I have always got up early when I needed to, but now I am falling in love with the freedom that getting up early gives me. I feel that extra time and it translates into getting little things done that make me feel more accomplished. I also found that since it has become a habit, I am out of the gym and into my day before a lot of people have even had that first sip of coffee. In terms of my fitness goals, that alone had made a huge difference! I have seen improvements in my strength, my cardiovascular endurance and I’ve been nailing gymnastic movements that I’ve struggled with for a long, long time. Why? Because that alarm is set, the gym clothes are laid out and the decision making process of ‘Should I go, or not?’ is removed from the equation.
Getting up early is just one thing I believe can help, it’s obviously not the only way, it’s just working for me, now. And I’ve learned that it is working for other people, too! Forbes reports on various bits of research on early risers and write that they have higher GPA’s, are more proactive attitudes, sleep better, exercise more and make better food choices (http://www.forbes.com/pictures/gglg45gfd/benefits-of-early-risers/#486e4ba22a46).
Lifehack.com shares that famous early risers from Benjamin Franklin to Barrak Obama are said to get an edge by getting up before the average person (http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/this-why-productive-people-always-wake-early.html). It’s thought that getting up early allows time to focus, get active, make time for good nutrition and a get a head start. It’s thought that early risers also enjoy more time with family, easier commute and a time of quiet at work before everyone else gets there to prepare for the day.
I understand that getting up early isn’t for everyone, and that there may be many paths to success. For me, it just makes certain my fitness gets done before my day gets in the way. For 2017, I want to improve. I want to be stronger. I want to compete. I want to be proud of my efforts. So, I’m setting that alarm for 5am!