I’m on day three of my new “get up and walk two miles before work” program, and I’ve noticed an interesting pattern. The first few moments of consciousness have me lying in bed, contemplating not getting up. I am not one of nature’s morning people, despite my work schedule. Left to my own inclinations, three AM would be a thing that I see because I haven’t gone to bed yet.
And then I get up, usually before the alarm in my phone goes off. See, in an effort to not wake my wife up, I have the silent alarm on my FitBit set for 3 AM and the alarm on my phone set for 3:05 AM. It works out pretty well, I think. But I get up, and I get dressed, and I start walking. Usually I’m listening to my podcasts and playing Pokémon Go as I walk, but I’ll probably mix that up next week and get back to Zombies Run as well.
Anyway, I’m out walking. It’s dark out, and quiet, and warm but not hot. The only sounds (other than my podcasts and music) are my feet on the pavement, and the wind, and the distant sound of traffic – and there isn’t a whole lot of that at 3 AM. And by the time I’m up the low hill to the complex clubhouse, I’m glad I didn’t stay in bed.
Then I’m across the street and past the Methodist church, and I’m crossing another street and walking past Kroger, and suddenly I’ve covered a mile and it’s time to turn around and head home. And I haven’t seen another human being the whole time, just a few cars with black-looking windows reflecting the streetlights.
Walking home feels even easier. I’m sweating a little, and paying attention to the changing textures of the ground beneath my feet. Concrete resists my weight. Asphalt seems to spring and rebound. Grass and dirt yield and compress beneath me. Tiny rocks crunch and skitter.
Then I’m home. As I shave, I realize that I’m wide awake and ready for the day – far more so than if I’d hit snooze and dozed for another 40 minutes.
If I’d realized it would be this much fun, I’d have started it last year.