Waking Up

I get up at 5AM so I can be at the gym by 6AM and be awake. I only need 15 minutes to get ready, but I need an hour to be functional. It’s early for a workout. I get to the gym and realize I didn’t turn my phone on before I left–I wouldn’t have received any cancellation texts.  It gets to be a few minutes after 6 and I see no evidence that anyone else is here for the class I’m attending, including the trainer.

This is an anxiety producing situation for me. I don’t know why. Even if no one shows up, I’m at the gym and can get a workout in on my own. However, I get stressed when I’m supposed to be meeting people and we don’t hook up. I worry that I’m in the wrong place and we missed each other. Because, after all, if my trainer came in and didn’t see me, I just know he would assume I didn’t show and go on without me. And, even though the front door is only 20 feet from the treadmill I’m on, it’s entirely possible that the 200+ pound trainer could sneak by unnoticed and that he would never think of turning his head.  It’s ridiculous, but I do this to myself every time I meet someone until the situation becomes familiar.

The trainer arrives about 2 minutes after 6AM (depending on which clock you’re looking at). I am now stretching in the hallway outside the training room door. While I prefer to stretch in the women’s locker room, it’s too anxiety producing to be out of sight. Now that I know the trainer will arrive a couple minutes late, I will factor this into the next class and not be so anxious.

As it is, I follow him into the room and stand there feeling awkward while he tries to get his stuff situated to begin the class. My presence and readiness to start rushes him and he forgets to turn on his music, set up some equipment, put away his hat. Next time, I will wait outside until he tells me he’s ready.

As it turns out, I am the only participant today. Apparently everyone else thought 6AM was too early. I am at about 60% of full capacity with my cold. I am still tired and I’ve been laying around too much. I go a little easy today, but my shoulders and chest are still exhausted by the workout.  By the time we are done, I’m debating whether I want to walk before work or wait until after.  But realistically, if we don’t walk now, we won’t walk later.

When I get home, I write. By the time I get Pat out of bed and get myself ready, there is little time for a walk. We’ve also realized we have nothing to eat. So, we do go for a walk, but it’s just to the store and back. We pick up some cereal and milk so we can eat breakfast.

Even keeping it quick, I am racing back to get to my first call of the day by the time we’re done. I don’t know where the morning goes sometimes. I get up hours before work to have time to take care of the things I want to do. I like getting those things in at the beginning of the day. Somehow, making time for me first thing in the morning sends a message to my brain that I am a top priority–I will not sacrifice my health, my needs, myself for the sake of my job.

I have a fantasy work morning that goes like this: I sit on the balcony sipping coffee, watching the sunrise, maybe shooting a little. I finish my coffee and do yoga for a while, ending with some meditation. After feeling completely and totally relaxed, I write for an hour. Then, I go for a walk with Pat along the riverfront before starting work.

Theoretically, since I get up at least 3 hours before my work day starts, I should be able to make this fantasy reality–well, other than the sunrise during coffee. I don’t really know what happens, but my real morning often goes more like this: stumble out of bed, get the coffee going through bleary, half-shut eyes. Check email for emergencies. Answer a few mails. Check calendar for first meeting. Pour coffee. Write blog. Start researching some trivial point that has little to do with my post. Finish post, realize it’s getting late. Wake up Pat. Jump in shower, get cleaned up and ready to go. Decide to log on while waiting for Pat to get ready. Try to answer a couple of emails and then realize I’m out of time and we can’t go for a walk now.

Ah, I see what happens–I start working first. Funny thing how priorities work. How many times have I said, “I want to . . . But I just don’t have time”? Yet, I manage to make time for so many other things–like obsessive email checking. I tell myself “What if someone needs me?” In reality, what I think drives me is the fear that maybe no one does. Otherwise, wouldn’t it be easy to let them wait until office hours?

Tomorrow, maybe I will try leaving my phone in airplane mode until after I’ve finished that walk with Pat.