Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good morning?

Full disclosure here -- I hate mornings, and I hate exercise. If there was some way I could just stay in bed all day, managing my life via wifi and MacBook with the occasional shower thrown in, I'd be perfectly happy.

But, sadly, that is not my fate. I am neither a starlet nor a trust-fund baby; therefore, I must get out of bed every single morning and, five days out of seven, go to my job. Which is not in my bedroom or even my house. Add to this my fatness, lack of fitness and shiny new gym membership, and we arrive at a sad realization: if I am going to fit exercise reliably into my life, I am going to have to do it in the morning. Before work. Which is early. And outside my house.

Did I mention I hate mornings?

The new routine has me leaving the house and to the gym by 5:15 AM. Which is just very early, y'all. I spend about 30-ish minutes on cardio followed by ab work and Nautilus-like weights. On the days I do weights for lower body, I do less cardio, largely because if I do more, I can't pick my legs up to get into my car. I'm out of there by a little after 6:00.

What has been an insight is just how many people do this every day, apparently because they choose to and not because they are being held at gunpoint or anything. I base this on the fact that the people I see at the gym early in the day are, dare I say, happy -- smiling and talking and laughing with one another. It dawned on me this morning, as I was slogging through another set of ab something-or-others, that what we have here are Morning People.

There are women in the locker room who, when I arrive to stow my stuff, are already doing their hair. Which means that by 5:15 they have already finished working out. What time did they get there, anyway? When I hit the cardio area at 5:20 or so, there are many people who are already running or climbing happily along, completely sweaty, smiling their "good mornings" at those of us who stumble in. I am stunned by this. I can barely form words at that hour, but these people have been cardio-ing away for who knows how long already. There are also trainers working the weight floor, putting clients through their paces, who ask how you are and if you're having a good day -- and stop to listen to your answer.

It's fascinating. And a little scary. It's like there was a whole world out there, carrying on, while I was sleeping.

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