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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Before the Body Knows

"Quick, before the body knows what we're doing!"

The thought popped into my mind when my alarm went off yesterday morning. The last couple weeks, I've been getting up on time only to come downstairs, think, "But it's cold outside," or "My leg hurts,"and when I sit down to put my running shoes on, I find an hour later that I've gone back to sleep instead. Not particularly helpful.

I've already had to implement a number of physical changes in my life just to get out of bed. My alarm clock is about 15 feet away from my bed, next to the door of the bathroom. All my running clothes are in my closet (which is in said bathroom) except for my socks, which I pull out each night and place on the bathroom counter. This forces me to walk all the way across my bedroom and within sight of my running clothes just to make the sound stop. With apologies to my wife, this is the best system I've developed for getting out of bed.

But now, there is a new nemesis - putting on shoes. Really? That's what stops me? Sitting down on anything comfortable is apparently the kiss of death for my morning run, so now I put my shoes on upstairs. Honestly, it's probably the safer idea, considering that in trying to be quiet and walking downstairs in socks, I once missed a step and tumbled about halfway down. Apologies once again to my wife.

Physical challenges aside, you then have to overcome mental blocks. Things like "I'm too tired," or "it's too cold." And the key to defeating these hurdles (at ungodly-o'clock) is changing my default setting.

My default setting used to be Go Back To Sleep. I'd have to actually convince myself that I wanted to run, and when the sun isn't up yet, I'm not very convincing. Over the last couple months, I've charted my ability to get up in the morning, a small accountability measure for me and me alone, and it's worked surprisingly well. Now I get up on time more often than not, and my brain is apparently on my side in this argument.

We're still working on the body.

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