ONE SIMPLE WAY TO MAKE YOUR TEACHING DAY ROCK

Five am is early.  Five am in dark, cold  January is very early.  After fighting with my schedule since August trying to make my gym membership work, I decided to let it go.  If I am going to work out, it has to be in the morning.  Evenings are my only kid-time, and that won't last forever.

I gave myself some serious pep talks, set my clothes on the trunk at the end of my bed, made sure the alarm clock (across the room) was ready, and went to bed at 9pm.  To be fair, all I had to do was go downstairs to the garage where my treadmill is.  I did not have to go outside on a frosty morning run, like I used to do in my pre-kids days.  I did not have to drive to the gym to attend a class.  I just had to walk down to the garage.

The next morning, I dragged myself out of bed, eyes bleary with sleep.  I dutifully got dressed, met the dogs in the kitchen, and out we went to the garage.  I let them out the door, climbed on my treadmill and got moving.  I fired up the TV, set to watch some HGTV and get this day started.  Did you know that at 5am HGTV plays infomercials?  Did I mention my dogs chewed up the remote to my treadmill TV and I hadn't replaced it yet (since, um,  July)?

But that was my only awfulness.  Yes, it was early, but after 20 minutes, I felt great.  I was up at 5am!  I was working out before the sun came up!  I was on the verge of buying a facial cleansing system to look young and rejuvenated!  (No, not really.)

I started this on January 5th, our first day back to school.  It's now been two weeks, and I've done it every weekday.  Despite several nights when I thought, "I'm up late and I'm tired.  I'm not working out tomorrow!" Morning came, and I did it anyway.

Here's what I noticed about working out in the morning:
1.  By the time I get to school, I've already accomplished something, so I feel more capable the rest of the day. - like the challenges aren't such a big deal.  What's harder than pulling yourself out of your warm covers in January at 5am?

2.  I have more energy all day.  I feel awake (shoot, I look awake - eye bags diminish on the treadmill!) and I get things done with less procrastination than I did before.

3  I'm less grouchy with my kids in the evening.  I actually have time to cook dinner and help with homework (OK, if it's math, I'm still grouchy).  I'm not rushing to try to get my workout in and make dinner at a reasonable hour.  And the kids aren't STARVING by the time we eat, so there's all-around less bickering.  Not no bickering, but less.

I am amazing to be writing that I actually look forward to these morning workouts.  No, it's not an hour-long class at the gym, but it's a good, vigorous 30 minutes of endorphin-releasing exertion.  It's made me feel like I'm putting my priorities in the right order.  I still meet my need to work out, but it's not at the cost of time with my kids everyday.

Plus, now that I found my new friends Joe and Mika over at MSNBC,  there's no danger of mysterious boxes of goodies showing up on my doorstep.

I'd love to hear how other people handle mornings.  What workouts or routines get your day off to an energized, positive start?

Happy Friday!
Lynn

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