My alarm on my watch rings at 4:00AM – in reality, this is 3:50AM because my watch is set ahead 10 minutes. I hit the “silence” button and fall back asleep, only to be jolted awake by my backup alarm exactly 7-1/2 minutes later. I mentally go through the 100 reasons why I should go back to sleep; that bed magnet is particularly strong today. But somehow my will wins over and I drag myself out of bed.
I’m moving in slow motion because it is, afterall, only 4:00 in the morning. Everything hurts, and I’m a little bit pissed off at myself for not letting myself sleep in.
“I’m f$%^& crazy,” I mumble, stumbling half-blindly to the kitchen to make coffee. I’m still grumbling as I stumble back to my room to get dressed, brush my teeth and “put my eyes in.”
It’s a beautiful, clear night – I wouldn’t call it morning because the sun isn’t planning to make an appearance for at least another 2+ hours. I pour myself a cup of coffee, open the back porch door and step barefoot onto the cold, damp wood. I sip my coffee in silence as I study the stars in the night sky. I zone out for a few minutes; entranced by the rarity a hot cup of strong coffee and of the silence that surrounds me.
My watch beeps with my third alarm – 4:40 watch-time. This signals that it’s time to finish my coffee, put my socks/shoes on, gather my belongings and head for the gym. Before leaving, I peek in on my babies who are fast asleep and will hopefully stay that way for another 2 hours. My girl stirs, mumbling something about “birthday party,” so I make a quick exit in hopes that she won’t wake up.
As I pull into the YMCA parking lot at 4:58 by my car’s clock – 2 minutes before open time – I notice all the regulars waiting at the door. They nod at me in silence; the universal early morning hello. Apparently, they’re crazy too.
My workout today consists of running followed by Bodypump class. Everyone is moving slowly and class gets out later than usual. This means that I’m in a mad rush to shower, get dressed and get back home before my kids go into full meltdown mode while Dad’s in charge. When I return back home, I discover that I’m too late. I open the door to hear my kids wailing, “NO, DADA!!! WANT MAMA!!!” and my husband with that look of desperation on his face.
The rest of the morning pretty much goes the same way. My girl screams all morning about the fact that her pancakes are too sticky, pants are dirty, ponytail is too tight, and she doesn’t want to wear her jacket. My boy is in a mischievous mood and antagonizes both his sister and the dog until his sister and the dog are wailing madly. In the frenzy of things, I end up forgetting pretty much everything, and I have to turn my car around not once, but twice to retrieve forgotten items. It’s so bad that once I walk into my office, I realize I have forgotten my laptop.
“It’s f*@#% Monday…”
Everyone including my husband tells me that I’m crazy for getting up early 4 out of 5 days of the work week. I admit, getting up at 4AM is difficult. In fact, it sucks on some days like it did today, but it allows me the opportunity to:
- Have a hot cup of coffee while the world is still asleep.
- Listen to the quiet that only an early morning can bring about – that clear, cold, silence that is broken only by the sound of my breathing and the occasional cricket.
- Drive in silence (without having to play the Jellybean Song over and over again on repeat), watching the stars and the moon in the clear, black night sky
- Get a REAL workout without the guilt of taking time away from my family, and without the fear of someone waking up earlier than usual, thus hijacking my workout.
- Meet up with friends who are as crazy as I am!
- Have a hot shower (albeit at the gym) where I can actually spend a little extra time enjoying the hot water without someone screaming, “Mama, come HERE!” in the background.
- Have ME time; alone time.
So, yes I AM crazy. But for now, I plan to continue waking up in the “middle of the night” so that I can enjoy my hot coffee, the silence and cold of the night sky, my kid-free workouts, and hot showers. Most importantly, I plan to continue waking up so that I can have my “ME” time.