Friday, May 30, 2008

Nature or Nurture....but at 5AM, does it really matter?

I fear that I am turning into my parents, who operate on Farmer Standard Time. Up at 4 AM. In bed by 8PM. I can remember how excited my mom got when they got digital satellite and she could start watching prime time TV at 5. In college I became a late sleeper purely because I couldn't wake up unless it was to the sound of dogs and someone clanking around with the wood stove.

This morning was the fourth consecutive morning that I got out of bed at 5AM, refreshed and ready to start the day.

This alarming trend started about 10 months ago, when I started going to Jeff Tedder's core class at Alameda Fitness Center after a flare up of my IT band during Seattle to Portland. Even in the middle of the summer, getting my carcass up and over to NE Portland by 6AM was a huge struggle and I would often roll over at 4:30 AM and turn off the alarm. Then I added the pre-core spin class to my Wednesday and Friday routine and was able, most mornings, to roll in on time for a 5:30 AM class.

For a few months, I figured that waking up at 5:15 AM twice per week was just about enough for one person. Then two things happened: it started getting lighter and I put Lily on a diet.

Lily is my Siamese cat. She is one of the sweetest life forms on the planet. And also one of the dumbest and most food-obsessed. And she is not, shall we say, svelte. More like the opposite of svelte. After she starting limping a few months ago and Coco lectured me about overweight cats and arthritis, I finally put her on a serious diet. She's lost about 3 pounds and is pretty unhappy about it.

So when the sun comes up, I start waking up and things basically go like this: Owner wakes up. Cat wakes up and automatically thinks it is food time, when it usually is the opposite of food time. Cat moves out of arm reach and starts squawking. If unsuccessful in waking Owner, Cat sits two inches from Owner's face and begins squawk-purring. Any hope of falling back to sleep goes out the window when there is a 12 pound cat bitching in your ear and breathing dried cat food breath on you. Shutting her in the closet is not deterrent; neither is beaning her in the head with rolled-up socks. So I decided one morning to just get up, feed the damn cat, then ride out to Mt. Tabor and do hill repeats. It felt good to get the workout out of the way and having Tabor to oneself at dawn is simultaneously peaceful and invigorating. Eventually that became the Wednesday morning routine: 6 AM Tabor repeats with the HTFU crew.

When I figured out last night that the only time slot I had to exercise today was the 5-7AM slot, I found a spin class at 24 fitness that would fit. After staying up until 11PM watching the season finale of Lost (fantastic), I was dreading the sound of the alarm.

But a funny thing happened...I woke up at 5:15, like I had the three previous days, and was in the car and driving on I-405 before I realized what had happened. I have adapted. Which is not a bad thing at all. Getting the workouts out of the way before the workday begins alleviates the "I have to workout today" anxiety and I find that I drink more water during the day.

Spin class was great today, even though it was taught by this frenetic instructor who bounces all over the place and always sweats through her light colored tank top and rarely wears a bra. Nipple all over the place isn't what anyone needs before the first latte of the day.

So being like my folks is not a bad thing. Just someone stop me if I start drinking freeze-dried coffee.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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