My alarm went off at 4:45 this morning.
I wasn’t surprised because I turned it on last night. I scrolled to the very top of my alarm app/whatever-it’s-called on my phone and slid it on. Just like I do (almost) every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
For three glorious weeks, my workout group, Camp Gladiator, had been on break. Sure, there were “bonus” workouts offered during those weeks, but who in the world goes to a workout when the official word on the calendar is that it’s a break? Not me. I don’t.
Anyway, today is January 4th and real life is back in session. The kids went to school, Hubby returned to work, and I have a To Do List a mile long for this crazy writing job I created out of thin air more than six years ago.
I knew my week/day/year needed to start with NOT skipping today’s workout.
But when that blankety-blank alarm sounded at 4:45 a.m., even though I was already kinda-sorta awake, some pretty awful thoughts went through my head. I thought about how much I hate getting up so early. I thought about how much I resent that dumb alarm every single time I hear it.
Really. If I’m out in public and a stranger’s phone rings with the same song as my alarm, I scowl. I maybe even snarl a little.
And the thought I ponder each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 4:45 a.m. is how this whole thing hasn’t worked out the way it was supposed to in my dreams. Specifically, I dreamed I would one day bounce out of bed, eager to run and squat and lunge.
I looked forward to the day when I would like it.
Other people like it, right? Other people are passionate about exercising and can’t wait to hit the gym, right?
I thought that once I liked it, I wouldn’t hate getting up so ridiculously early.
I wouldn’t struggle.
Unfortunately, after almost two whole years, I still dread setting my alarm, being awakened by my alarm, rolling out of bed, contorting my way into the necessary wardrobe pieces, and walking out the door when all is dark and every sane creature is fast asleep.
I dread it. I despise it. I feel like my feet are made of cement.
But do you know what I say every single day at 6:02? (Sometimes aloud and sometimes in my head.)
“I hate going, but I’m glad I went.”
And not because I got a runner’s high. (I’ve given up on that ever happening to me. You probably have to NOT cheat on your seven laps, walking every time you notice the trainer looking the other way.) But just because I’m glad I did it. I made it. I survived. I did the right thing and can go through the rest of my day knowing I’ve done what I needed to do and am a healthier person because I did.
The thing I dwell on the most in my moments of pre-dawn self-pity is that this will never end. Ever. There’s never going to be a time when I don’t have to do this anymore. Maybe it won’t be so ridiculously early, but I will have to do this, exercise, for the rest of my entire life. And for now, ridiculously early is the only way I’ve found to make it actually happen consistently.
And now, I apologize. I will not end this post with a Lightbulb Moment for you to use in your own health journey. I will, however, compare this never-ending struggle with my never-ending struggle to keep my home under control.
I received a question recently about motivation. About needing it, not feeling inspired. I suggested listening to a podcast, since many of you tell me that listening to them makes you get up and get moving in your home.
I’d misunderstood. The real question was, “How do you make yourself do what you need to do every day?” Basically, the struggle was with (as my True Texan Husband says) her wanter.
I know all about this, as I struggle with what I call the Idonwannas. (As demonstrated above.)
I felt bad giving the bad news. There’s no cure for not wanting to do it. I just have to do it anyway. Not that I’m trivializing the very real, I-can’t-force-myself-to-tackle-those-dishes feeling.
I have removed decisions so there’s no choice to make in the crucial moment between time-to-clean-the-kitchen and what-happened-in-here. (Listen to a podcast about that here.)
But even when habits and routines and decisions have already been made, I still have to just get up and do it.
I think the problem is that it looks like other people don’t have to make themselves get up. It looks like they move through their daily chores without even realizing they’re doing them.
They realize, y’all.
Even now that I know without a doubt what it takes to keep my house under control, this will always be a struggle for me.
I will always struggle. Daily. In that moment right before I walk to the sink.
The struggle, my own resistance, is just part of the process for me.
Note: If you have emailed or messaged me recently and haven’t received a reply, I’m sorry! I’ve replied to the ones that came through in a moment when I had a moment to respond right away. Otherwise, I’ve put responding on my mental to do list, and we all know how that goes. Hoping to catch up soon!
Second Note: Let’s blame this melancholy mood on Jump Squats. I despise those things.
Third Note: I really didn’t write this as an advertisement for Camp Gladiator (obviously), but if there’s one in your area and you want to try it out, email me at aslobcomesclean @ gmail . com (with the spaces removed) because I have a code for a free month I can give to someone, and could possibly get more codes.