Let it be known that I am not a morning person. Not even a little bit. At all. I literally never wake up in the mornings “ready” to get out of bed. Foreign concept.
Last Wednesday, my dear love crawled out of bed, turned off our fan, and turned on our bedroom light at 4:00 in the morning. Let me say that again. FOUR O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING. This is not okay. And then he asked if I wanted to go to the gym with him. I’m fairly confident that my only response was to stare blankly at him, which was my first mistake. See, he has the smile and the blue eyes and after four years, I still have not developed immunity to the smile and the blue eyes. God help me if we ever have boy children. Bless it.
Anyway, the smile and the eyes and there I was in the gym. AT 4:17 IN THE MORNING.
And then the next day. And the next. And the one after that.
And don’t you get me wrong. I have not been converted into a morning person. I promise that literally every single morning Josh has woken me up before Jesus Christ Himself is awake, there has been at least one second when my foggy brain has thought, “I hate you and I’m going to punch you in your sleep tonight.” But once I get past that moment, and actually get myself out of bed and out the door, I can think of some significant reasons why going to the gym early is pretty great.
1. Josh and I need accountability, and a tangible reason to get in there. We’re both fairly human, and definitely have the tendency to stick to our comfort zones. And let me be frank. Our comfort zones are NOT in the gym. Neither of us have been consistently involved in athletic activity for somewhere around a decade, and so we both feel fairly self-consicous about our abilities in that area. Josh and I both tend to be avoiders of situations where we feel self-conscious. Doing this thing together has been great, because we’re both more committed to the other person’s health and success than our own. So we tend to suck up the uncomfortable, self-conscious moments because we want to see each other succeed in our goals. And we also just want to be together for as long as we can get, preferably without all the health problems that tend to come along with not being a generally healthy person.
2. Speaking of being self-conscious in the gym, it is basically empty at four in the morning. There is literally no one there to be self-conscious for. Except Josh, who has seen me attempt to twerk on many occasions. So I no longer have any valid reasons to be self-conscious around him. He already understands the full extent of my potential to embarrass myself.
3. I start and end every single day with my love. Honestly, that’s probably my favorite reason. No matter what happens in the middle, the beginning and the end are with him, and I love that. I think every married couple could benefit from more time together, especially more time doing things that are challenging. I think it gets really easy to get stuck in the rut of doing whatever’s easy in your marriage, just going with the flow. But it really does change the way you see people, your spouse included, when you witness them sticking with hard things that offer no sense of instant gratification, showing strength and patience in the process.
4. My morning goes so much better, which generally means that the rest of my day goes better. Again, I’m not a morning person. Left to my own devices, I will drag myself out of bed ten minutes before I need to walk out the door. Every. Single. Morning. And that is an absolutely miserable way to start the day. I feel rushed and unprepared and stressed. I don’t take time to eat breakfast, I race out the door praying that traffic isn’t bad and the lights are on my side. I know how bad it feels and I still do it. So the past five days have been really beautiful. We get back from the gym before five, Josh leaves for work before 5:30, and there’s all this time and silence and margin and it just makes for a really great way to start the day.
5. There is something really empowering about starting off the day knowing that you have done something to take care of this one life you’ve been given. I’m continuously learning as I get older that taking care of yourself is an essential part of taking care of others. Giving myself a clear mind and focused heart to start the day with changes a lot about the person I am, the attitude I choose to draw from, how I treat the people around me. I feel like those are changes worth making.