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Morning Rituals

While waiting in the Denver airport yesterday, I started working on the project of Get Rebecca Back Into A Regular Exercise Routine, and so I had ambitions about getting underway with that project this morning. The patterns of my workday here are such that, by the time I get home, I'm hungry and want dinner SOON, so the timing isn't quite right to exercise in the evenings. So I need to go back to the project of morning exercise.

This morning at 4:30 am, the Cat Alarm started going off (in other words, Emma started meowing). As I lay in bed after the cell-o-phone alarm went off at 6 am, not especially early, I had to do a bit of further thinking. I am not very good at magically leaping out of bed. My ambitions for the first morning back were pretty simple - just get myself up and out of bed to complete a core strength workout. Back when I lived in Tempe and got up to go rowing with KM three mornings a week, this core workout was a regular part of my morning ritual: get up, throw on spandex, do the core workout, then bike over to the lake to meet up with K and row. The core workout was necessary on two fronts: first, I needed to do it to ensure I maintained sufficient core fitness to not injure myself while out rowing, and second, I needed to get up early enough so that K or I could cancel, as necessary, before K had already committed to putting in her contacts and hopping in the car (she had a longer drive to get out to the lake).

But this morning, I just didn't feel like I could get myself to leap out of bed, put on workout clothes, and start doing situps. That's like going from zero to sixty in two seconds. Both in Arizona and in Texas, I've had morning bike rides out to the lake or to the gym to gently wake me up, and I just don't have that here, and I don't envision myself having that here.

As I continued lying in bed, uninspired and unmotivated, I started thinking about RowdyKitten's posts about her morning routine, which sounds quite leisurely and extravagant in comparison: she gets up, makes herself a cup of coffee, pets her cats, and takes a photograph of her morning view. This is enough of a routine for her that she's published a book of the photographs, called My Morning View (I haven't read it). I guess her work schedule affords her the luxury of exercising at other times of day. I can also appreciate how yoga can make for a nice morning routine for some people, since it can be fairly physically gentle to begin with. I'm still not a yoga person, though. My dad's morning routine involves getting up to pray and meditate.

So what to do here, in Lincoln. I want to gently wake up and warm up, and I couldn't convince myself to do that by hopping on the ergometer - also too harsh a wake-up. Instead, for this morning at least, I got up, put on workout clothes, and went for a walk -> jog around the block. And THEN I felt ready for further exercise.

As with rowing in the single, compared to rowing in team boats, figuring out this morning exercise routine is harder for me because it's a solo activity. Hopefully I can establish a ritual that will help make it more sustainable. The walk -> jog is a start. If I can, I feel like it's something I could employ anywhere, even when traveling, and that should be beneficial for me in the long run. For if I don't take care of my own physical and mental well-being, pretty much everything else in life becomes moot.


( 9 remarks — Remark )
Mar. 11th, 2015 01:21 am (UTC)
I read this with interest. I've also been thinking about my morning routine, likely brought to mind by the change in the weather here to more seasonable daytime temperatures. I, like you, am not able to fit in exercise in the evening until after dinner. That's fine in the summer when it's light until 8 pm (or later), but doesn't work in the dark frigid months. I am unsuited to treadmills, and I kind of think they're bad for the feet, so I don't run indoors, so what to do from December to March has been a conundrum.

I think a morning routine that involves exercise would be ideal, but like you, I can't just charge out of bed and into a high impact routine. I've been thinking that a gentle jog would be a good thing, just a mile or so, not enough to take a huge bite out of my morning, but enough to get the blood flowing. I would love to mediate and pray in the morning as well, and maybe the mind-clarification of a gentle run could be turned toward moving meditation.

The other thing I'm excited about, oddly, is getting a jump rope. That's something I can do in our parking area outdoors or on the little back basketball court at work - and I could maybe squeeze it in at lunchtime.
Mar. 11th, 2015 01:45 pm (UTC)
If you do get into jump-roping, I hope you do some double-unders and criss-crosses! :-)

This morning was a motivation failure. 5:30 felt too early.
Mar. 11th, 2015 02:46 am (UTC)
Are there any rowing clubs up there, that you know of? It's not known for its lakes, I know.
Mar. 11th, 2015 01:44 pm (UTC)
I found information about a UNL rowing team, but they row on a lake that's 25 miles outside of town, which is twice as far away as the lake was in Texas. I think that's about it. I looked at a map of Lincoln to assess the state of lakes closer in, but none of them look very large. I also think that as the weather warms up more, I'll wind up spending more time on my bicycle instead.
Mar. 12th, 2015 02:16 am (UTC)
we need to make you a rowing bicycle.
Mar. 12th, 2015 01:33 pm (UTC)
Hahaha, they make those.


When I rowed in Arizona, I would occasionally see a locked-up rowbike near the rowing facility. I guess someone was commuting on it. Somehow, it's not quite the same as being on the water, unfortunately...
Mar. 13th, 2015 01:24 am (UTC)
I know... but it's probably the closest you can get on land, and it goes places. I occasionally see one around here.
Mar. 12th, 2015 02:52 am (UTC)
I second randomdream's idea - a rowing bicycle!

It takes 2 weeks to form a habit. If you can motivate yourself to get up for 2 weeks, you'll be golden after that.

I'm trying to think what I would do if I lived in a place again as cold as Lincoln. In Maryland I ran year round, regardless of temperature, and once you know how to dress you only have to worry about a dry (ice-free) place to run. Much like bluepapercup, I need that moving meditation.

I think I would incorporate more weight lifting and stretching/yoga now in the wintertime if I were in a place that made outdoor exercise unpleasant. It's good to vary the routine. That helps with the mental stimulation and motivation.

Mar. 12th, 2015 01:34 pm (UTC)
I have been feeling inspired to go running, which is actually very strange for me, as usually I'd rather do almost anything else. But I'm going with it. Moving meditation, absolutely!

I need to get a set of weights together.
( 9 remarks — Remark )

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