I Gave Up…
After Over Two Years of Fighting It…
I am now working to get up around dawn.
I still have not figured out the writing parts, but I need to do this for the exercise, so the writing will follow.
I am starting two things next week that I just could not figure out how to do with the heat. I will be joining a running group that starts once a week at 6 am to train for a marathon, so once a week I was going to basically lose a day anyway by getting up so early. And all races start very early in the morning anyway.
And I have a challenge (virtual) that I signed up for and paid a bunch of money to do a lot of miles each day. Obscene amount until November 1st, but the amount I need to lose the last bit of weight and get to making marathons. And besides, it’s a challenge that, on its surface, seems impossible. Perfect for me. (I’ll post about it once I get started.)
And if I don’t do this, my weight will go up and I’ll be back on blood pressure meds and who knows what else at this age. More than likely diabetes. Ughhh. All that will do is make me angry at myself.
So I just climbed out of bed this morning at 7:30 (a little late) and put on my running clothes and ended up on the same street as Kris about four blocks from here as she was headed back from her morning run. It was way, way too hot for me to be out there, even at that time, so I turned around and went back with her, ending up getting a mile total.
But it was a start.
It was a mile.
Science says it takes anywhere from 18 to 256 days to form a habit and at least 66 days before something becomes automatic. 66 days is still a ways ahead of my 70th birthday, so off I go, to make myself wonder how I ever slept in.
Day one down. On to day #2.
One day, one step at a time.
Sort of like writing a novel. One sentence, one page at a time.
There are two ways to be up at dawn. One is go to bed/get up earlier. The other is to stay up and go to bed after you run.
Advantages of the latter: you sleep through the heat and you have all those lovely, quiet hours through the night to get things done without interruption.
The main disadvantage, of course, is that you have very few waking hours overlapping “normal” business times. (Although any business requiring calling/meeting with folks back east can be conducted before you go to bed).
But, if you can’t adjust your circadian rhythm to a morning schedule, it’s a viable alternative.
(Pushed by quarantine and protests from swing to graveyard)
I’m a native Las Vegan, and since the term was invented, I’ve always said that we get summer SAD (seasonal affective disorder, I think) – instead of crawling indoors in the winter and not getting enough sun, we crawl indoors in the summer because it’s so blasted hot.
We blew the August record high away this year – from 112 to 117F (44.4 to 47.2C) – and when it’s already past 80F (26.6C) at 7:00 a.m., it’s difficult to find a time to exercise outdoors that isn’t at risk of heat exhaustion/stroke. The only blessing we have is that usually (last week being a notable exception) when it gets that hot, our humidity level is less than 10%.
Good luck with your challenge!
Congratulations on a tough choice. It sounds like your kind of challenge.
I made a somewhat similar decision (steps, not marathon, though) for similar reasons as part of adjusting to COVID-19 back in April. It helps me stay sane.
FWIW, I now use some of those ‘extra’ early hours after exercise for writing. I’m building a part of my writing habit on top of my exercise habit, exercise/shower/write – no thinking allowed – and it’s become a great way to start the day. If I think about what I’m doing at all, the excuses get creative (grin.)
I feel for you, Dean. That heat is brutal and mornings are the only way to go. Would seeing the sunrise while outside motivate you? Can your phone take a good-enough photo to use for a book cover? That gets me out on time, I love the changing landscape, and I’ve even used some of my own images.
The other way of becoming an early riser would seriously T-bone your word count: obtain a live-in toddler. I swear, having kids was the ONLY reason I ever started waking up at 5 just to get some quiet time to myself!