I am NOT a morning person...
Growing up as the oldest of 3 girls to an accountant and a social worker it was unlikely that we were going to be getting up early to go trail bike riding, hiking up hills or anything else involving overly strenuous activity. Having said that, my parents did encourage us to try anything we wanted in the way of sports and so I dabbled in swimming, water polo and rowing.
All of these required early morning starts and I probably hated every single minute of dragging myself out of bed at such ungodly hours. I’m sure my parents did as well although it was mostly Dad who did the driving as my Mum is even less of a morning person than I am. It’s not uncommon to receive an email from her at 1 am!
As a total night owl early mornings are not my friend. Don’t even try to talk to me till about 10 am if you want full sentences. Somehow though, eventually all this changed.
After spending the better part of my 20’s doing dance classes, teaching dance classes and going out dancing (which is obviously 100% suited to being a night owl) all of a sudden I was in my 30’s and somehow all the late nights were adding up and it seemed like all my friends were suddenly “adulting”. They were getting married and having babies. Settling down. While this path wasn’t the one that I went down I became “aunty” Mich and sat on their couches and dragged them out when they needed a break and all of a sudden I wasn’t a night owl anymore. I wasn’t really anything anymore. People kept asking if I was still dancing and my answer was no. What the hell was I doing with my life?
I’d spent so long in a world of people that had changed around me and while we were all still close friends I had lost a part of myself that revolved around the dance floor, late night adventures and bleary eyed mornings. After a series of relationships that just weren’t right for me no matter how hard I tried to convince myself that they were (translation: If I was honest with myself they should have never gone as long as they did) I had to start looking inwards and not outwards for answers.
So one day I messaged a friend who I knew from my dancing days who is a triathlete and said tell me about this sport. His reply was ‘careful, its addictive’ and I said ‘so is dancing’. So we had a chat and he pointed me in the right direction to do a beginner triathlon course. I borrowed my mum’s flat bar bike, I bought a not too expensive wetsuit, I went to a spin class to improve my fitness and I started to #bebrave. This became my motto for being outside of my comfort zone.
All of a sudden I was getting up early. Regularly. Enjoying it even. Morning swims watching the sunrise. Bike rides starting in the dark and ending in morning light. Noticing that it gets just a little bit colder just before sunrise. Running being my Achilles heel and joking that the only running I do is running late.
Suddenly, instead of going out at 930pm I was thinking about getting ready for bed. Calculating how much sleep I would need to get up by 530am. Making sure I was eating properly, drinking loads of water and far less wine. My world suddenly became full of Lycra again. The cycling variety and not the dancing variety!
Now I know that there is no better way to wake up than with a splash of cold water and fresh air in your face …. and while I still grunt and grumble and am definitely not enthusiastic about stringing a sentence together I am now addicted to sunrises, 7 hours of sleep, feeling stronger mentally and physically, forming new habits and meeting new people.
There are days when I still grunt and roll over back to sleep but there are also days when I know that getting up and moving will be a much better start to the day than sleeping more.