While I am not really a morning person, there is one thing that I will set my alarm to go off at 4:30 am for – Running!
This weekend I was able to get to the gym at 5 am on Friday and run outside early Sunday morning just as the sun was coming up. Being able to start my days this way truly gives me a whole new perspective throughout the day.
The gym actually opens at 5 am and it is always amazing to me that there are people who routinely get there at that hour! However, I can appreciate it even as I leave my house in the darkness with below zero temperatures, it is almost like there’s a secret kept in those early morning hours. A secret of anticipation for the day and what’s yet to come.
Hitting the treadmill in the comfort of the climate controlled facility, I am able to look out the window at the dawn of a new day with a clear mind and just enjoy being there and being able to run. By the time I’ve completed two miles, I have gone through my “to do” list for the day and over the next three or four miles I am able to ponder any issues that may be weighing heavy on my heart. This is where I often brainstorm new strategies for building my children’s self-esteem or ways to foster their developing sense of independence. Having this time to myself, while they are still sleeping, allows me to return home a calm and collected mom, prepared for anything our morning might unexpectedly deliver!
In contrast to the climate controlled comfort of the gym, these past two Sunday mornings, I got up early enough to go running outside at dawn’s first light. This week after bundling up with three layers and a scarf on top, I started off running toward the trails in an eastern direction and was greeted by the subtle orange and pink glow of the sun just starting to rise. What a purely simplistic yet spectacular way to start the day! I felt like it was the sun’s way of saying, “Thank you” for coming out to greet me this morning!
As the golden light began to peek out over the trees, I headed through the trails close to my house that had at one point been plowed but are still somewhat snow and even ice covered, with patches of dry pavement. With each step, carefully placed upon the snowy trail, I couldn’t help but think of how, although it isn’t easy to get up so early and the temperature was most likely not quite 20 degrees (I am a self-professed WIMP about cold weather), running gives me the confidence to overcome so many obstacles! When I run, it’s like the physical part is enough of a challenge to call on the mental support center that says, “You can do this no matter what: just one step, one mile, one more push forward!” Then, along the way, I reap the rewards of feeling my muscles work hard, releasing any built up anxiety, and even external rewards like the three deer dashing across the street into the woods just 50 yards ahead of me!
So, it’s these golden moments in the early daylight that make it all worth it for me when much of the world (even the sun) is still asleep – try it, and let me know what you discover on your early morning run!Tweet