- IT’S A WEIRD SUBCULTURE. Like really weird. You see everyone walking in wearing structured — read: work appropriate — coats over spandex bottoms or shorts, and some are carrying dry cleaned clothes outside of their gym bag. Nobody really talks. not at the door, not in the weight room, not at all. It’s pretty obvious that each person has the simple objective to get in, get done, and get out in time to beat the line at the coffee shop before 9 a.m. Work deadline, indeed.
- IT’S A NATURAL PHENOMENON TO MISS YOUR BED. You can read it on everyone’s faces that the bed is exactly where they want to be, and yet they’re at the gym. Once I’m awake, I can’t even let myself sit down on my bed to put my socks on. I know I’ll crawl back in for that extra hour of sleep if I do. At heart, I’m still an extraordinarily lazy human being. You’re allowed to miss your bed all you want, because you still went to the gym so everyone who takes offense to your miserable attitude can shove it.
- YOU HAVE TO BE DISCIPLINED. I’m not talking about having the discipline to obey the stupid alarm clock; I mean the discipline to prepare everything the night before. I have to pack breakfast, lunch, and snacks; I throw a change of clothes into a gym bag; and I put my workout clothes on top of my dresser. They’re easy tasks, but every night, I find myself why I can’t put it off until tomorrow. Here’s why: I won’t make it to the gym in time if I do.
- HAVE A BEDTIME. Seriously, we’re kicking it old school. Last Tuesday, I worked until 10, and while I finally got to sleep at 10:45, I was so exhausted that I passed out immediately. On Wednesday night, I was in bed by 9:30. Old o’clock? Maybe, but waking up at 5:45 the next morning was cake. But on Thursday night, I stayed up reading a book for two hours, finished it, and proceeded to wake up all night long because I was having freaky dreams about wasps and singing birds wearing orange backpacks — don’t judge me. Needless to say, however, waking up on Friday put me in a bad mood, and I briefly reconsidered going to the gym. It’d be silly to not go because I was cranky, especially since, you know, exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy (and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands) and sure enough, an hour later, I was as happy as I’ll ever be without coffee. That is to say: not rude and sullen and flat out offensive at every single turn.
- SPEAKING OF COFFEE, I’ve actually been trying to cut back on the java. Instead of two cups in the morning and one in the afternoon, I’ve been able to keep it to a single grande cup after my workout. Honestly, I think working out first thing has helped a lot, but if you turn on the TV any time soon to find a breaking news report of a very angry young woman terrorizing Manhattan because she hasn’t had enough caffeine, well, I spoke too soon.
- ONCE THE SWITCH FLIPS AND IT BECOMES ROUTINE TO GET UP AND GO, you’re going to hate yourself a little bit at first. The way Tebow must have been sickened by himself accepting the invite to go play football in the heathen capitol of the netherworld. Because this will always be the most appropriate reaction to morning workouts ever, final word.
Yes, yes, and yes. I’ve been actually successful at getting up for morning workouts for the past 5 days (obviously still not a major maintainable streak, but pretty damn good for me!) and I especially agree with the “pack your shit the night before” sentiment.
The gym I belong to this month is about a mile and a half from my apartment, and it doesn’t save much time to take the subway, so I just give myself a nice half hour walk to wake up on my way there. For me, this means dragging myself out of bed at 6:45 (fortunate to have a late work schedule), grabbing my gym bag, and drinking my coffee on the way. Knowing that I don’t have to be presentable or put together when I leave the apartment at 7 makes it SO much easier to get there. Even with the long walk I still have time to work out for an hour, shower, and get to the subway to head to work.
I am a baby and it’s way hard for me to get up before 8:30 if I dare to go to bed after 11, but being done with bootcamp at 8 or 3 different cardio machines by 8:30 makes me feel like I’ve succeeded regardless of whatever happens the entire rest of the day.