If you read my last post you know that I am on a journey taking statements that I’ve been making about myself for forever and reevaluating them to see if they are still true, or worse, if they were ever true, or if I was just going through a rough time and created a story for myself to make it easier. Well there’s another one that I decided to check out…
Statement: I’m a morning person- and therefore can only work out in the morning.
Fact: I’m a morning person…most of the time, for most things, depending on the season apparently.
The truth is- I used to be quite the night owl. I trained myself to be a morning person because my career as a teacher demanded it. It wasn’t hard to do honestly. Teaching is the most exhausting job I’ve ever had- and I’ve done a little bit of just about everything- so dropping into my bed at an early hour wasn’t really a choice. It just happened. Nothing compares. But on top of that, I couldn’t be up late then expect to deal with the youth of America (more specifically the high school youth) in the morning without being extremely snarky. Apparently that is frowned upon in most establishments so I became a morning person and here we are, no longer teaching yet incapable of staying up past 9 and I continue to wake up automatically at 3 am. Waking up at 3 was great as a teacher. It gave me plenty of time to get my workout done in the morning and go to work at 6:30 a.m. with the energy I needed to make it through the day. Getting up at 3 now? No, thank you. That’s not going to work when I don’t have to be to work until 8. That makes for a very long morning before my day even really begins. So I try to make myself sleep until 5 and apparently that is oversleeping for me, so then I’m exhausted and won’t get up which also means my workouts go out the window. It is a horrible cycle. I’ve always wanted to work out in the morning because well, I’m a morning person now remember? I have more energy in the morning, I work better, and just wanted to have it done and out of the way so that nothing would interfere. I have always come up with way too many excuses after work, but working out has ceased to exist in my world right now and that’s not ok. It’s just become impossible to get up that early in the cold and dark. I wake up just fine- it’s the getting out of my bed part. Not happening.
So my adventure begins- can I really only workout in the morning? It’s time to rethink this because here I am starting over…again. Why can’t I just get this right and stick with it? Ugh. I lost 30 pounds last year (yay!!) and still had a ways to go, but have since gained a few back because of my inconsistency with my nutrition and workouts (boo!!). I blame winter, haha just kidding, sort of- really it’s my inability to get my shit together, but those are just details. However, it turns out it happens every year around this time (so winter may be a little to blame)- I’m just now seeing the pattern because this is the first time I cared enough to investigate. So in the spirit of saying “yes” to trying new things, I came up with a revolutionary plan…
I am changing my workout time. (Yes, I realize it is not in actuality revolutionary. Leave me alone.) Why am I doing this?
Intention 1– to actually work out since I’m clearly not doing that with any kind of consistency right now.
Intention 2- hoping that working out at night will wear me out and help me sleep through the night because frankly, I don’t do that. I’m also hoping that it will help me sleep longer. I wake up after four hours ready to roll, but try to make myself get at least six. I’d like to get a solid six. A girl can dream.
Intention 3- to not put a time limit on my workout. I like the idea that I will not have to cut it short to make sure I will be ready for work on time. There have been days that I have dragged my butt out of bed just in time to get in a 30-minute workout when I really wanted and had intended to do more. With the evening workout, I don’t have to worry about that. Going back to me being a tad lame I’m going to say it’s not like I have a whole lot of other stuff going on. What else do I have to do? Might as well give it a shot. Don’t worry- I won’t go through every day of the life of this workout plan. A week you say? Great idea! 😉
My normal routine prior to this decision was to go home from work, put away all of my things from the day, immediately change into my pajamas, then go on with the rest of my evening. What I decided to do for this challenge is instead of changing into pajamas, I would change into my workout clothes so that when the time came I would be ready to go. The rest of my routine basically stayed the same.
Here’s how it went…
Day 1: Wow! I worked so much harder in that workout than I have in my morning workouts for quite some time. I didn’t go for a long workout because, again let’s be honest, I’m out of shape and haven’t been consistently working out so I didn’t think that would be a good idea. The workout also did what I was hoping it would do- it wore me out. With the warm shower that followed, I snuggled up and enjoyed the rest of the evening, winding down properly with a meditation before bed. I went to bed at 11 as planned (I seriously cheered myself on at 10 feeling accomplished that I’d made it to so late an hour, then proceeded to laugh at myself because I do recognize how ridiculous that is), but I still didn’t sleep through the night and woke up at 5. I really do only need six hours of sleep. However, I let myself stay in bed until 6 and for the first morning in a long time, I didn’t spend it mad at myself for not getting up to work out because I had done it the night before and would be doing another one that night. The morning was relaxed and nice. Definite success.
Day 2: I ended up working out as soon as I got home. Once I changed into my workout clothes I was motivated to just get started so I busted it out first thing, showered, ate dinner and spent the rest of the evening relaxing. I really liked the flow of that. What I did not do however, is stay up until 11. I couldn’t do it. I was exhausted. I fell asleep somewhere around 9, woke up around 12:45 but was able to go back to sleep eventually (hooray!) and slept until 5:30. For my mathematicians out there- that’s almost nine hours! I don’t care that it wasn’t straight through- that’s unheard of for me. Not gonna lie- super stoked about that lol. It’s the little things ya know? I found that I wasn’t as sore the next day as I usually am when I start over either (I did say this was a pattern) so that was nice. The Electrocuted Gumby* has not made an appearance this time around and that’s pretty cool too.
Day 3: I worked out as soon as I got home again, deciding to go for a run. Holy cow, what a great run! I pushed myself so much harder than I had been able to for a long time. I cut 3 ½ minutes off my 3 miles which is pretty amazing. [Disclaimer: I run at about the speed of a turtle in peanut butter so this exciting news does not put me in a “fast runner” category. It’s still exciting though and a big deal for me.] I loved not having to cut it short to make sure I would have time to cool down and stretch. I was able to do it all and it felt amazing. Added bonus: I slept really well that night. I still have yet to make it through the night, but when I am sleeping it is good, quality sleep so things are definitely improving.
Day 4: Mmmk… not gonna lie- this workout almost didn’t happen. I was starving and exhausted when I got off work so I ate and passed out. The good thing was that I had still changed into my workout clothes when I got home instead of my pajamas so when I woke up from my impromptu nap, it came down to a “now or never” situation so I hopped up and got to it. It was leg day. Did I mention I ran 3 miles the day before? Let’s just say it was payback time and it was a rough workout. My legs gave out on me more than once, but I still pushed hard and it felt so good. I am so happy that I did it. I took a hot shower and went to bed at 11, slept until 6, almost making it all the way through the night. Seven hours! It was a miracle.
Day 5: My first real winter activity! Fat biking!
When fat biking was first mentioned to me, I was like “Wha?!! You can ride bikes all year round?! Count me in!” I was then given the list of disclaimers: be careful not to go off the trail as you might just drop off because you don’t know what’s under the snow; also due to that lack of knowledge, being told to be careful to not wreck because you don’t really know what you’re going to land on and could easily be impaled by something…awesome. Have we met? Quick side story- my first degree is in music theatre and dance. I can dance, but I do things like hip hop and jazz. I am not in any sense of the word a ballerina, yet we were required to take ballet. I used to describe myself as an ape in tights because not only would I just tip over at random from being clumsy (which I still do), that’s just how I always felt trying to be graceful in that class. Now I’m being asked to put that clumsy, graceless ape on a moving apparatus and not wreck. On top of this, I’m an aggressive rider. So…yeah. Wrecking is kind of what I do. I still had to try it of course lol. The disclaimers did the job though- they instilled a solid amount of fear (some may call it terror) and I was extra super careful, and as you can tell since I’m writing this now, I was not impaled by anything so yay me!
I will say though, it was perfect. It was cold, but not freezing, with just enough snow to add a certain ambiance, and absolutely beautiful. It was also one hell of a workout. I knew I was out of shape, but damn. And I’m an idiot for having done leg day the night before as that definitely added a degree of difficulty, but again, it felt so good. The landscapes I talked about in my last post– they’ve been found and it was gorgeous. Example…
When we weren’t riding we were hiking around and exploring the area so it was constant motion making sure to keep my blood pumping and stay warm. I had a blast and I can’t wait to go again.
Day 6: Keep the party going for winter and let’s go cross-country skiing! Or as I like to call it, permanent pizza slicing (it helps that I love pizza…like a lot).
This was so much harder than I ever imagined and honestly scarier than fat biking was, yet it came with no disclaimers and it really should have… just sayin. But it was challenging and that made me love it. For those of you wondering what the practical use for doing yoga is, this is it. Thank god I do yoga and am pretty flexible because I’m pretty positive that I would have broken myself in a few ways during my two wrecks that closely resembled a slow dissolve into the splits. The irony of calling it the permanent pizza slice is that, although the attempt is constant, there is no such thing. All this provided was a means for my legs to go in completely opposite directions. I don’t think I have ever talked to myself so much, and out loud, seriously telling my legs to go straight. It was not as effective as I would have liked. My body doesn’t listen to me- that much is clear.
But, the weather was perfect so I didn’t have to be too bundled up. I stayed the perfect temperature all day, something I wasn’t sure was even possible so that was awesome. Even with wrecking and feeling like all the parts of my body are not actually connected to my brain, I loved it and am excited to go again and keep getting better.
Day 7: Rest day. I honestly didn’t want to take a night off and considered working out anyway, but after what I’ve put my body through this week I felt it was probably a smart idea to give it a break. The fact that I didn’t want to take a break says a lot though, and made me feel good about what’s happening.
So…I did it! A full week of evening workouts in the bag. I have to admit that while I do miss having the workout over and done with in the morning, I am really enjoying this routine and will keep it up for a while and see how it goes. Once the sun starts coming up earlier again I may go back to morning workouts, but for now this feels good and I’m actually looking forward to my workouts again so that’s exciting. That’s what I needed. It’s now time to get my nutrition back on track as I’m pretty sure my cross-country excursion was fueled completely by sugar. But that’s next week’s problem- one thing at a time lol. (And don’t worry, I won’t put you through that one.)
*What is the Electrocuted Gumby you ask? Well, this is what I call the walk on the day after leg day. The one where you just kind of throw your leg out in front of you because all the muscles have staged a revolution, pissed at you for what you’ve done, and are refusing to function in their normal capacity- much like Gumby. Then every time your foot makes contact with the ground a tremor begins at your toes caused by the enduring muscle fatigue, shaking all the way up your body as if you are being electrocuted with every step. Thus, the Electrocuted Gumby. You can use it. You’re welcome.