The alarm vibrates at 4:30am and I spend the next 20 minutes listening to the sounds of the morning. The house is silent except for the soft snoring of our dog and the espresso machine beginning its morning cycle. In my mind, I go through the things for which I am thankful and remind myself how blessed I am to even see the day. I guzzle the bottle of water by the bathroom sink, but it’s the coffee that clears the cobwebs before the 5am alarm begins to buzz. I set out clothes the night before when I was coherent – do I really need to forget and have to purchase yet another belt, underwear, pair of socks, shoes, or whatever? Clothes, coffee and bag in hand, I load the car and ease onto the road. There is no traffic, no pedestrians and no need to rush.
I get to the gym, turn on the lights and begin my routine before the 5:30 alarm starts to scream. The only sound comes from my headphones and my own heavy breathing – one keeping time for the other. Set follows set, until the work is done. During my cool down, I make the mistake of checking my phone. 3 emails, 2 missed calls and a few errant texts drive me to the shower in more of a hurry than I would like. My day is no longer belongs to me.
I train early in the morning because it is the only time of the day that is truly mine. The routine is familiar and calming. It gives me a base from which to take on whatever comes my way. Find YOUR routine. It does not matter what time of the day, but carving your own space in the chaos is essential. Taking a moment to breath, block out the world and center yourself makes the rest of this craziness a bit more manageable.