FOF. That’s what my brain says when the alarm goes off at 5:20 a.m. “Feet On Floor,” “FEET ON FLOOR.”
It mostly works. Mostly. If I can stand, I can get to the gym. It’s that standing up part that’s hard. If any awareness at all enters before FOF, I’m lost.
If I hear my snoozing husband’s breath behind me. If I can feel how much warmer it is on his side of the bed. If my dogs’ lapping sound waves of stereo snoring don’t meet me first. If there isn’t a purring kitten. If the snow isn’t sparkling on the ground outside. If I didn’t notice that my pillow is just exactly right, or the house is cold, or I feel a bit achy from previous workouts.
If NONE of that enters my consciousness, and I can get my feet on the floor seconds after the alarm rings, well, then, I’m in the chute, and off to the gym, where most of the time, I start my day.
But not this morning. I went to bed last night knowing I would be pressed for time, that I needed to meet a buddy for coffee soon after my workout. I had a big workout day yesterday, and all of that entered my head as I went to sleep. And it was there this morning at 5:20 a.m., before I got my FOF message. In my bleary state, I reset the time AND the alarm, and ended up waking up the entire household in a freakish panic that I’d missed my first appointment of the day.
It was a bad start on several counts. I’m sure it would register on the EKGs of every being in the household, including the plant life, and that’s saying something.
It’s hard to get your exercise in the morning. It’s really hard. Mornings can be a precious time. Beloved, mushed-up sleep-mapped faces are a treasure. Some of the best cuddling, and then some, happens in those rare times.
A brightly lit, slightly smelly gym can’t really compete with all that fur in half-light.
And so it’s a minor miracle that I manage to get to the gym as often as I do and have done for the past two years. But the thing is, I looked at my schedule, and had to make the choice. The truth is that quality time with my family happens in the evenings, not in the mornings when we aren’t actually cogent. I have many social and work obligations over lunch-time.
Exercising at home simply doesn’t work for me. I can get in a few stretches, do some leg-lifts, but there are far too many distractions at home to complete a proper workout. And I have neither the budget nor the talent to own or maintain the sort of equipment I like for exercise.
Being a woman over 40, not exercising regularly is simply out of the question.
So I made my choice. I carefully sought out a gym that felt friendly and non-threatening. And that’s where I spend my mornings. I gave a lot of thought to decorating my locker there. I keep my makeup there. And I’ve made friends there. I am greeted by a half dozen familiar faces. I watch my morning shows. It’s routine.
It is, if I can get my FEET on the FLOOR.
How can you make exercise part of your life’s routine? As automatic as brushing your teeth?
Wishing you calm mornings,