Morning Glory

Operation: Rock Star is off to a less than momentous start – deciding to start a diet and exercise regimen days before Thanksgiving might not have been the best idea in the world, and I am self-assured enough to admit that. All the self-help books I’ve ever read all start the same way, though: once you make the decision to make a change, make the change – don’t put it off a moment longer, get started that second to make your dreams a reality. So I did, and even though I have not been as diligent as I would’ve liked, I have done more exercising in the last two weeks than I have in the last six months. So there’s that.

alarm clock

A time when nothing good happens

It doesn’t help that I hate mornings. While not the complete grump-a-sauras of my lovely Lady Fair, I am still definitely not one of those jumps out of bed, raring to go, perky-assed morning people you sometimes see at the office – I am a snooze-alarm pounding, I’ll skip shaving, I’ll skip breakfast, I can still make it to work if I drive 90 mph, just five more minutes type of folks. We keep the bedroom as dark and cold as possible; we have multiple blankets and spreads covering the king-sized pillow-topped bed like a cocoon; and we drown out the casa’s creaks and moans with a white-noise generating floor fan couple with a window-unit air-conditioner for the sweltering summer months – add all that comfort to the fact I have a hard time falling asleep and I’m in no rush to leave my love nest at the butt-crack of dawn to go get my exercise on.

Exercising after work is hard, though: long day, tired, frustrated, just spent an evil half-hour trying to maneuver my Mustang through the idiots on the road just to get home in one piece – the last thing you want to do is exercise, especially at my house. We inherited the homestead from the Lady Fair’s family, a two-bedroom pier and beam built by her great-grandparents back in 1950, and for simple farming country folk, they sure understood Fung Shui: the living room literally sucks the will to live right out of you. I mean, honestly – you can actually hear the walls coaxing you, “Sit down. Take a load off. You just need a few minutes to rest up and tackle them chores. It’s all good.” An hour later, you’re still on the couch watching a documentary on Donkey Kong fanatics wondering if there’s any Cheesy Poofs in the pantry. Wonderful place to relax, but my home is just not conducive to extra-curricular activities.

After a lot of trial and error, the best thing for me to do is get my aerobic activity out of the way in the morning before work; that way, no matter what emergencies or frustrations happen during the day, I know I don’t have to find 30-45 minutes of time for a bike ride or power-walk once I get home – it’s been taken care of, and if I don’t manage to do anything else, I have managed to do at least one productive act. And you’d be amazed how good it feels to know you’ve already accomplished something positive by the time you make it to the day job. Exercising in the pre-dawn hours requires setting the alarm early, hauling your big tuckus out of bed, and ignoring any and all distractions, though, and that’s a pain in the ass.

Nothing like floppy-eared bunnies with switchblades

Did you know Skinamax runs naked movies at 5 am? I do. You can make a jumbo cup of java, sit on the sofa with the dogs snuggled around you, and watch pretty people do sinful things while still in your pajamas before the national morning news shows start. And if you’re going to tell me you’d rather risk a hernia than watch models with 1% body fat and no ability to act lose all their cloths and simulate completely unbelievable sexual positions, then I have no recourse but suggest you seek psychiatric help immediately. And on the few mornings that cable isn’t showing completely inane movies filled with gratuitous nudity, there’s always some poor soul I know awake and posting on Facebook; or a new blog I haven’t read on Dooce or Bloggess or Penelope Trunk; or a new comic strip up on PvP or Sluggy Freelance; or I could just spend two hours writing my own blog or Facebook Note about how much I love soft-core porn on cable, mommy-bloggers and web comics, then race through my morning routine so I can make it to work only a half-hour late.

I am a professional procrastinator. We have jackets.

Anyhoo, getting into a new morning routine of forgoing cable and internet distractions for aerobic exercise is proving to be the biggest challenge of my challenges – managed it today, didn’t mange it yesterday (and no, I wasn’t looking at inappropriate content on the web – I was tuckered out and stayed in my warm, comfy bed for well over an hour). I’m also trying a new strategy of not little one off-day derail my entire week: for example, I didn’t manage a bike ride yesterday morning, but I did get in some heavy lifting on the Boxflex before dark fell last night after work, then got a brisk walk in this morning – not the plan, but still good stuff and in keeping with what I’m trying to accomplish, so I’m claiming a win. And it’s probably a good thing I’m easing into this new routine – I have a nasty habit of not just jumping in with both feet, but jumping into the deep end fully clothed and carrying all my equipment, so there’s been a lot of in over my head moments in my life; this time I’m in just as completely, but I’m still treading water.

So far.

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