The elusive morning routine is not an easy one to create and maintain by any stretch of the imagination. I used to look at people that woke up early and think, “That’s crazy how early people are waking up.” I loved getting my sleep and when I was in my 20’s and read about the positives it is for your health to get 8 hours of sleep, I was big on making sure I got enough sleep so that I could maintain my busy lifestyle of being an hard working IT guy who works out 3-4 times a week. However that all changed when my wife of 4 years told me she was pregnant with our first child and I knew some big changes were on the way. My coworker from a job I had gave me some good advice about parenting a new born, “Surrender to not getting enough sleep. Ever.” He pretty much stated that its better for you mentally to have low expectations of getting enough sleep. I’ve taken this advice to heart and before my daughter was born, I decided to work on developing an early morning routine in order to prepare myself for early morning wake ups.
So while the Covid-19 pandemic just got me laid off from my job and the pressure of having a baby on the way in 3 months was my reality, it was a bit of a mental battle to worry about something as simple as developing a morning routine. However I pushed myself to still try. At the same time, I also really started amping up my running & workout regime. I’ve always used fitness as an outlet for everyday life stress and the pandemic wasn’t an exception. While the anxious and fearful thoughts about my future hit me hard, I decided to focus on what I can control which was getting out and going for a run. I started small by waking up at 6:30AM at least 3 days a week to get my body used to waking up earlier. While it wasn’t easy at all and I had mornings where my mind said, “What the hell are you doing? You should go back to sleep and get your rest. There is no reason for you to get up early with no job to get to.” My mind can be a real prick sometimes. Haha. After a few weeks of waking up early three times a week, I started stepping it up to 4 and 5 times a week pretty fast. After 1 month, my body really adjusted pretty easily to the new routine. I even started getting into some early morning long runs at 10-12 miles which for me was the first time I’ve ever even run that long before. By the time my daughter was born in May, I was ready for the sleepless nights and early morning wake ups. My best advice for working on building a new routine is to smart small and then build your way up from there. This method sure worked for me in 2020.
Fast forward to 10 months later to today. I now wake up to the alarm of my watch at 5:30AM and my initial reaction is to turn it off as quick as possible so that my 8 month old daughter doesn’t wake up as well. After that I take a minute or two to wake up before I crawl out of bed quietly and tippy toe my way out of the room. Once I feel the cold morning air in my living room (Where I’ve been working out for 10 months now), I start waking up. I go for getting my Beachbody Performance Pre-workout ready. These days I’m not running as much as you can say I’m going for my bulk and more HIIT workouts more these days. Although I did run 8 miles two weeks ago so I can bust out and do a long run if I need to. However with no end of this pandemic coming anytime soon, I’m working on building strength vs. racking up the running miles. After about 15-20 minutes my pre workout called “Energize” kicks in and I’m ready to kick ass on my current workout program. Waking up early is easy for me now. The 8 Mile run I ran two weeks ago at 4AM; I did it after I spent an hour and half trying to put my daughter back to sleep. While most parents would be exhausted and want to get back to bed, I’ve really trained my body to be awake and aware in the morning. This wasn’t easy to achieve and it took me months for it to be normal to wake up at so early in the morning. After I finish my morning workout, I start my routine of getting ready for work at my full time job and face my day powered by my morning routine.
I really appreciate my morning routine now as its the time I use for myself. Its the time I use to prepare myself for work day. Its also the only time where I can truly have some “me” time which is very elusive when you become a parent. I currently just started a new Beachbody Program called “The Prep” where the intensity is pretty high for this program. I almost get an adrenaline rush now from knowing I’m about to kick ass before my day starts. Its been a great routine that I use to help me be a stronger version of myself. Always be sure to make time for yourself. Whether you’re a parent or not, be sure to switch gears and focus on something you truly feel passionate about. You won’t regret the benefits of giving your mind what it needs to feel fulfilled.
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