Last week, I packed up my gym bag, put on my workout gear and headed to my usual (dinky) gym. I arrived to find that they had started construction on it.
Now, it should be noted: I knew the construction was coming. They’d been talking about it for months. I thought they were going to start back in May. Last I asked the people working there, they said that’s when they thought it was going to start. It is now October. And I guess they decided now is as good a time as any.
The gym needs to be revamped. It needs major changes. It definitely needs a facelift. But there were no warning signs telling us that it was going to close down. And based on how everything else there seems to run, I have no idea when it’s going to open back up.
I didn’t get my workout in that day. Fine. No big deal. I’m not so obsessive that I need to get a major sweat in every day. I have flexibility in my schedule and can work around this stuff. Not worth getting all in a huff about.
But I have had to revamp my morning schedule completely. I’m lucky that there’s another gym close to me. It’s actually a lot bigger, newer, and nicer. And it’s technically a mile closer to me.
I don’t go there in the mornings for two reasons:
1. You have to park in a structure and remember to get your card validated. And, sometimes people can block you in, so you may have to leave your keys with a parking attendant. And all that is a lot of work.
And 2. In LA there is one major factor you have to plan around… traffic.
The old gym I was going to had no real traffic issues. I could easily go at any time in the morning and not have trouble. This gym- despite being closer- requires I take a major street in LA. I have to be at the gym by 7ish or traffic gets so bad, it’s not worth it.
Yes. That’s correct. By 7:30 am, the traffic on this street can get so backed up that a 5 minute drive turns into a 35 minute drive. That’s the price you pay for living in LA. Respect the traffic.
So for the past week, I’ve been getting up early to get to the gym in time on my workout days. It’s actually been a great excuse for me to get out of bed early. Before, I could always convince myself that I could sleep in. Now I know I can’t. If I sleep in those extra 10 minutes, I won’t be able to get my workout in.
So I get up. I get my ass in gear. And I go to the nicer, shinier, newer gym and get my workout in and move on with my day.
I’m trying to make friends with the parking attendant. So far, he’s having none of it. But I’ll wear him down. I wear everyone down eventually. Ask any of my “friends.”
All in all, it’s made me a more productive person.
And also a much sleepier one.
When I was home last week in Indianapolis, I had a lot of trouble sleeping. Even if I went to bed early from regular exhaustion from the day’s activities, I would wake up at odd times with tons of energy.
If I had been home in LA, I would have attributed it to stress. But for a week-long vacation in Indy, I had absolutely no stress to worry about.
Many nights I couldn’t get to sleep at all, which is odd for me. The first couple nights I figured it was adjusting to the time change- I was trying to go to bed at 8 pm my time which is often only when my night starts.
I kept thinking I’d exhaust myself to the point where it would all even out, but I never quite got my sleep schedule on track there. Looking back, I think I know why.
It happens to be on occasion when I’ve had a (rare) lazy day in LA where I don’t exercise AND don’t spend the entire day and night working. I’m just restless. I get totally restless. I have too much energy my body is used to expending, and it doesn’t want to sleep until we’re done.
And I think that’s what happened in Indy. I didn’t exercise like I’m used to, so my muscles and body had all this extra energy it wanted to get rid of. Sure, I hadn’t slept much. Sure, my days were packed with lots of activities. But, for the most part, I still had reserves of energy my body wanted to use.
So… when I get back to LA (I’m currently at the Out of Bounds Festival in Austin) I’m gonna try and work out twice as hard to deplete some of those reserves and hopefully get back to sleeping like a rock.
I have a creative mind. Which I’m passionate about and proud of.
My creative mind is really good at coming up with creative ways to get around problems. This serves me 90% of the time. My mind has come up with an alternative or solution before I even realize there was an issue.
Unfortunately, my creative mind seems to think waking up at a reasonable hour is a problem that needs a solution.
No matter what I do to try and “trick” myself into getting out of bed early so I can have a productive and efficient morning, my creative mind is two steps ahead of me. The new “trick” will work for a day- maybe two. Then my mind will fix the “problem” before I know it, and I will somehow out-smart whatever trick I tried employing and will sleep in.
People say “Have a routine! Have a bedtime! Stick to a schedule!” and while I know in my heart and mind that they’re right- that would help me more than anything else, I would like them to live in my world for a week and try and wrangle this mind, ideas, and goals into a routine schedule. It’s nearly impossible. When you get really excited about a new project you thought up at 11:24 pm and need to spend the next three hours working on it, you need to spend the next three hours working on it. You can’t convince your mind to shut off at midnight so you can go to bed. You can only create. You don’t really have a choice in the matter. It’s a compulsion that you want to serve. Creativity sometimes comes in brilliant flashes that you have to just ride out until the light fades.
And sometimes, you’ve finished a show and should come home and go to bed, but instead you want to get a drink with the people you’ve just spent time performing with. Sure, you could technically skip out on this, but a huge part of performing is performing with people you like and you can’t know if you like people or not if you don’t spend any time talking to them with words that were not prewritten.
I know I need to recognize that my body needs to rest. I know I need to respect the fact that I push hard, and my body need sleep as a result. And I know I should give myself a break and not expect to be able to go to bed at 2 am and wake up at 6 am totally awake and refreshed every day. That won’t fly with my body. Fine.
BUT THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN THIS WORLD. I NEED MORE TIME TO DO THEM ALL. AND SLEEP IS UNPRODUCTIVE!
So if anyone has any new ideas, tips, or tricks for helping motivate to get up refreshed, I’m totally open to them.
I’m giving myself a little rest right now. I was headed to the gym this morning but my foot started screaming at me. I decided to take it easy. For once. UUUUGHHHH.
The problem isn’t just that my over-achiever-ness wants to go everything always including pushing my body to the limit. Or that I continue to eat as if I’ve worked out hard at the gym that day. The problem is mainly that at the end of the day, when I go to bed, I have all this pent up energy from not exercising.
I know people would kill to have more energy throughout the day, so maybe this seems like a silly thing to complain about. But I don’t have the energy throughout the day. I have it late at night. And it prevents me from getting a good night’s sleep. Which prevents me from being able to wake up easily in the wee hours of the morning. Which prevents me from getting everything I want to do done. Which usually means I can’t make it to the gym because that’s the first thing on the to do list that typically goes. Well, maybe the second. I don’t do dishes, then I don’t go to the gym.
IT’S A VICIOUS CYCLE.
And to top it off, my foot troubles are giving me even more excuse to give myself a little rest. But my body is wondering why there is so much leftover energy every night. Body needs to talk to foot so we can work all these things out.
Then again, I’m going through some stuff in the personal world, so maybe it’s just stress that’s keeping me up. Maybe a little meditation, reflection and perspective will help me sleep better.
NAH. I’LL JUST BLAME MY FOOT.
I can demand a lot from myself. I often don’t get enough sleep. I push really hard. And I have high expectations for what I can physically achieve.
So the other day when I tried this food that had something wrong with it and basically made me shaky and sick for 24 hours, I made a solemn promise to myself. I will take much better care of my body from here on out.
Maybe this seems like a silly request from a woman who blog about fitness- theoretically an act that already helps your body out- but, like I said, I think I can push it too much. After this food made my body feel like absolute shit, I’m going to take a breather from all things that can make your body feel like shit. No excess sugar, no alcohol, no empty calories, no shady leftovers…nothing that could make it feel that way again for at least the rest of the year. I’m writing it out and putting it on the interwebs so you can hold me accountable. I really pissed my body off and I want to make up for it by being very kind to it this second half of the year.
I’m going to make it a point to get enough rest every night so I can be more productive and healthy throughout the day. I’m going to drink too much water and listen to my body when it says it wants more of something or less of something else. And I’m going to see how that makes me feel.
Part of me is glad I feel this shitty. It’s quite a wake-up jolt to stop pushing and thinking I’m invincible. Clearly, my body will push back. And based on how I feel right now, my body always win.
I have an inkling the end of the year I’ll feel a whole lot better than I do right now since I’m about to become Puritan. And I don’t think I’ll be Puritan forever, but we’ll see how it goes. Maybe it suits me.
I’m in a conundrum.
I love working out. I love to exercise. I love to get up early and attack the day. I love when I start the day with a serious sweat session, then some quiet me time, then a couple hours of creativity all before 10 am. That’s an ideal way to attack this silly thing called life. At least for me.
But… I have a real tough time getting out of bed in the morning. I go go go so fast during the day that sometimes I find that when I finally do slow down, it takes a little momentum to convince myself to get at it again.
And, despite the fact that I love to get up and at ’em in the morning, anyone who knows me well knows that I am an unpleasant morning person. The first fifteen minutes of the day for me are very rough- no matter what time it is or how much I’ve slept.
And unfortunately, I’m involved in a lot of late night activities. I do comedy and the day doesn’t even start for most comedy people until 5 or 6 pm. And if you really make the most of your night, you can get home at 3 am without realizing how late it is.
So that late night stuff is highly conflicting with my early morning desires to get up and about.
And causing me great frustration.
Mostly because, one my favorite things- exercising- is the first activity to go by the wayside. At the end of the day, the landlord is not impressed at how fast I ran my last race. He wants his rent check. And my car will not care how strong my biceps have gotten. It wants gas. Even my gym is not impressed at how dedicated I am to going if I can’t afford the small monthly fee. So I gotta get my ass to work no matter how much I accomplished beforehand.
I was talking to my friend about this conundrum. We have some ideas on how I can be accountable in the morning and how I can re-train my body to get up when I tell it to. I’m going to try to get up every single day at the same time no matter what time I got to bed. I’m going to have an accountability buddy who will be expecting a message from me at the same time every day. And
if when I do this for 30 days in a row, I’m going to treat myself to something awesome. Then again after 60 days. Then again after 120. Though, admittedly, the most awesome thing I can accomplish in such discipline and dedication is how much work will get done and how happy my body and spirit will be for making the time for the things that are so important to me.
The challenge starts Monday, April 22. Mostly because I have an intense weekend planned AND because the 22 is a good day for me to start for my own personal reasons. It’s a good day for a “Screw you, world. I own this” attitude.
I’ll keep you updated on my progress.
If anyone has any tips or tricks for getting up effectively in the morning, I would be very grateful to hear them.