I love mornings. Waking up to a sunrise, deciding what to eat for my favorite meal of the day, spending some time with the Lord, enjoying the quiet calm before the day starts in earnest. Mornings are without a doubt my favorite part of the day.
Coincidentally, my least favorite part of the day also occurs in the morning. It’s when the alarm clock goes off, long and loud, all too early. I love the result of the wake up call – all of the aforementioned goodness – but hate the actual waking up. Especially when the waking up is followed by working out. There’s just something about vigorous physical activity before the sun rises. It disagrees with me.
However, not being able to blog or read or spend time with friends in the evenings because I still haven’t gotten a workout in and have to spend time after work at the gym also disagrees with me. And while in the moment I may not like getting up early in the morning to exercise, I sure like it a whole lot for the rest of the day when I feel healthy and accomplished and free to do whatever I wish with the rest of the day.
So recently I’ve been attempting to rise at the unholy hour of 5:00am to get up and get moving for either a 5:45am class (if you’re wondering, Body Pump and yoga are the only classes crazy enough to be offered pre-sunrise). But the sound of the alarm is often followed by the sound of excuses. This happens basically every single morning, and is basically the only thing that says consistent in my workout schedule. I try to talk myself into thinking that it’s better to sleep in instead, that I can do it at my favorite time of day: later, that no one in their right mind gets up at 5am voluntarily.
Those excuses were shot down this week while I was reading Quitter by Jon Acuff. Here’s what he had to say in a chapter about hustling for your dreams:
“If you wait until night to work on your dream, you will often spend the whole day gathering up material for excuses on why you shouldn’t do what it is you feel called to do…Your day rolls toward night like an excuse snowball barreling down a hill, packing on more excuses with every rotation.
Do you know when you have a lot fewer excuses to claw your way through? In the morning. Nobody wakes up and wants to balance their checkbook. Few can return phone calls at 5am. There’s nothing good on TV, and watching shows you’ve TiVo’d before the crack of dawn feels a little weird. The only excuse you have to deal with is being tired, but that’s one you can work through over time. Or forget working through it over time. Go to bed earlier.”
The truth is that right now my dreams consist of doing all of the things that I wasn’t able to do over the summer due to scheduling conflicts. Things like running and blogging and reading and cooking more than once in a blue moon. And the truth is that I despise getting up at 5am; like, I concretely hate it. I audibly groan when I think about it, with increasingly frequency as the time draws closer. But I really love the result when I follow through.
Last Wednesday was the epitome of the reason why waking up early in an effort to live the life I want to live is so worth it. After a great yoga class I headed to the section of canal that’s on the way to work. This is what was waiting for me:
It was literally a perfect morning on the canal – fog hanging over the water, sun streaming through the trees, just a little on the chilly side. The perfect setting for this:
Breakfast on a blanket. Bible and a book. Big ole iced coffee. Love it.
And all because I got up a little earlier than I “wanted” to. But what I really wanted? To do yoga and be outside and eat a good breakfast and have some quiet time before work. That’s what kicked in after just a few disgruntled moments and lasted all day long.
A much better deal.
Hopefully, with this in mind, my commitment to mornings will be an actual commitment and not just a “when I feel like it which is about once a week if I’m lucky” commitment.
I’ll keep you posted!