I set my alarm clock for 5:10. Not 5:00, because that would be too early. And not 5:15, because that would be too late. Every minute counts when you are waking up at such an ungodly hour. As soon as the alarm goes off, my brain begins its now ritualistic conversation with the rest of my body:
Brain – “Rise and shine old girl, that alarm was for you.”
Body – “But, I woke up yesterday.”
Brain – “There was a reason you set this alarm. You thought it was a good idea last night, remember?”
Body – “That was irrational…no good thoughts ever come after 8pm.”
Brain – “If you don’t get up and do it this morning, you will be mad at yourself the rest of the day.”
Body – “I can live with that. I’ll just wake up early tomorrow. My legs are tired and I have a lot to do today and I just really need another hour of sleep”
Brain – “Quitter.”
Body – “Fine. Jerk.”
Why, you ask, am I waking up before the sun? Because my friends invited me to go running – and I said yes. I’m such a sucker for peer pressure.
I’ve never been what you might consider a runner. Sure, I’ve played team sports throughout my life and I’ve occasionally jogged a few miles here and there but never consistently and never with a purpose. But, you see, I recently turned 34 and there is nothing like a mid-30s crisis to make you reconsider your daily regimen and your long-term plans. I am no longer young. There, I said it. (I actually winced at that statement – it’s hard to admit that your crop top years are behind you.) But being in the middle third of this marathon of life (mile 10ish) is not a bad place to be. In fact, I just found my stride.
Now before you can mentally list all of the reasons that you will not be joining us at the track anytime soon, I will list them for you. Let’s just get these out of the way.
1. You have too much to do during the day…ain’t nobody got time for exercising.
2. You would rather poke yourself in the eye with a dirty stick.
3. You don’t have the right shoes, headphones, water bottle, socks, headband, mental capacity, etc.
4. It’s Wednesday. Nobody starts exercising on a Wednesday. It would be better to wait until Monday or maybe even the first of the month.
5. You would love to, but then you’d get all sweaty and have to take a shower. Then you’d have to dry your hair, and maybe even straighten it and…well, that’s about a two-hour commitment and you’re tired just thinking about it.
6. You are already training for a marathon. Three of them in fact. True Detective Season 2 just came out, The Bachelorette is just getting good, and you should probably start Game of Thrones at some point.
I could go on and on. We all know that the gravitational pull surrounding the couch and that bag of Doritos is strong. But I’d rather share with you the reasons that I lace up those bright blue kicks that I bought at Meijer about a month ago.
After working 12 hours yesterday, my husband grabbed his headphones, drove to a very large hill at our high school (used by local coaches as the preferred method of torture, err conditioning) and ran 20 “gutbusters”…at 10:00 at night.
My mom bought a bike and joins my dad on his daily run around the neighborhood. Everyday she rides a little bit farther and everyday my admiration for her grows a little bit more (as if that were even possible).
My friend, a self-proclaimed non-athlete, just ran an eight-minute mile this morning. Three weeks ago she ran a half-marathon. Want to know how? A few years ago she started putting left in front of right…and she just kept going.
Another friend just started a workout routine and her young daughter, watching with delight, asked if she was exercising so that she could fit into her skirt. (From the mouths of babes, am I right?) If we want our kids to live a healthy lifestyle, we have to show them how. A mom who demonstrates healthy behavior will have a daughter who replicates it. Skirt be damned, we’re in it for the adrenaline (and the “Badass Mama” badge).
Bottom line – everyone can find an excuse NOT to do it, but the trick is to find a reason TO do it. We know we should (and all the cool kids are doing it). So find your reason. Do it for your kids. Do it for your health. Do it to have one hour of peace away from your crazy children (did I just say that out loud?). Do it to have an excuse to hang out with your girlfriends/homeboys. Do it so you can post about it on Facebook. Whatever the reason, just do it. And do it today. Yes, on a Wednesday – that’ll show em.