New Old Habits

Everyone knows the saying, “old habits die hard.” It’s probably true, but I’m kinda thinking it depends on how old that habit actually was. I used to get up before work every morning and go to the gym. I used to be OK with waking up at 6 to burn some calories. Most recently, however, I was completely OK with sleeping in late and taking an afternoon nap.

However, it is now January, and in the same spirit as all of those resolutioners clogging up my gym (stick with it for more than 3 weeks and I will stop whining about you, promise), I have decided to go back to working out in the morning. This is a decision partially made out of necessity: all of those newbies at the gym are a) less likely to get up early (see above) b) get in a pool that is c) outside in the cold, d) all before sunrise. It’s also out of preference, though. I have always felt great about working out in the mornings, minus the waking up early part. I used to get up early to do my college soccer workouts in the summers because it was so damn hot, and it has always, always made me feel awake and ready to go. I’m not gonna lie, the first week or two is really, really rough—but, as with anything, you develop a habit and it’s not so bad after a while.

This morning was Day 2. Same as yesterday, my alarm went off, and my immediate, knee-jerk reaction was to hit the snooze button as fast as I could. Secondary reactions included burrowing deeper into my pillow, pulling the comforter up to my chin, and internally groaning about how freaking tired I was and WHY OH WHY was the alarm going off. I then lay in bed for probably 2 more minutes literally debating myself on whether to get up or sleep in. THIS is what everyone means by accountability—if I had a friend who was going to be waiting for me at the gym, there would be no debate. But I eventually decided, on my own, to get up (woo…!).

I make coffee. On Night 0, the night before Day 1, I had carefully prepared my bag for the next day, including a lunch, protein/breakfast for afterwards, my jewelry and work outfit. I cannot stress enough how much easier that makes your life. I did not do that last night, and paid for it this morning. I ended up with no recovery drink, no breakfast (fortunately I have pounds of food at work), and no earrings. Thank god my outfit matched. Oh, and no TOWEL for the gym. Drying off with 2 of those little sweat towels is not the greatest experience ever, let me tell you. I am notoriously absent-minded and it takes me 3 tries to get out the door, but for some reason I keep thinking I will remember to grab things in the morning. I rarely do… or I grab 2 of 3 things (ain’t bad, right?). So just do as I say, not as I do, and pack your bag before you go to bed the night before so you don’t suffer like I do.

The Run Streak is done, and triathlon training has begun. My New Year’s resolution is to really focus on training for my races this year—even if that means waking up before the sun to hit the gym. Eventually (I hope) it’ll just be part of my morning routine.

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