Friday, March 16, 2012

Good Morning! Good Morning!

I'm not a morning person. I was nervous about becoming a mother for a few reasons, but my biggest fear (no matter how ridiculous this seems) was about sleep. I love to sleep, and I wasn't sure how I would react to a baby when I was deprived of it. Turns out I had a baby that also loved to sleep. We slept in until 10 am every morning for Rolands first 8 months of life. It was delightful.

When Roland had just turned 1, I was finally feeling like I needed to get my butt in gear and get back into shape. I enrolled in a bootcamp, in which there were 2 options: 6 am or 6 pm. I obviously wanted to go at 6 pm. Dave's schedule is super unpredictable, and when he's busy with his job the majority of his appointments should actually be in the evenings. So in my attempt to be supportive of him, as well as for a guarantee that he would be home to watch Roland (I didn't need any excuses to miss this thing!), I signed up for the morning class. This decision changed my life!
It was through groupon, and I got 6 weeks for super cheap. I really enjoyed it, saw results after just a few weeks, and would/should/could have continued, except I found out I was preggo, and felt like pushing my body to the point of pure exhaustion twice a week wasn't a good choice for me at that time. I'm still not sure if I made the right choice by not going back after those 6 weeks. But I do know that I WILL go back after baby #2 is born.

I enjoyed this experience for so many reasons. I loved what I learned about myself. I loved feeling like an athlete again. I loved going from the slowest one, (ok, I HATED BEING THE SLOWEST ONE) that had to lay on the bathroom floor halfway through the first class so I didn't toss my cookies all over the gym, to being able to compete with the people who had been enrolled in the class for the past few years. I loved that the class was ultimately designed and measured according to personal bests. It was about doing my best, where I was, individually. But there were people around me that would encourage me and challenge me to do better and to work harder. I loved coming home and finding my boys still in bed, happy to see me. I loved being drenched in sweat and feeling strong.
But the thing that I loved, that surprised me the most, was how much I loved waking up early. I loved knowing that even if I didn't do anything else that day I would have accomplished something. I loved beating the sun up, and having her guide me home. I loved feeling tired- really really tired - at the end of the day. No reward is as good as falling into bed at night when your muscles are aching and your eyes are burning.
We had to make changes in our habits to make this work. I will admit that we are kind of tv junkies. We wind down at the end of most days with an episode or 2 of our favorite shows. Midnight (or later) was the standard time we'd roll into bed. We'd awake the next morning, bleary eyed and tired, arguing over who should get Roland, and trying to squeeze every last minute out of our sleep. The truth is that I probably wasn't sleeping well through the night because I wasn't using my body through the day to do what it was designed for- to move.
So! We committed to be in bed by 10 pm every night- not just the nights before boot camp- every night. It is amazing what going to bed early, having a solid sleep, then waking up early can do to a person! It really did change my outlook on the world. I felt a million times better!
I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I've consistently been going to bed, sleeping well, waking up and working out since I gained my new outlook. In fact twice this week we stayed up passed 2 am, playing Rook with my brother in law & sister in law, then slept in passed 9 the next morning, BUT some things have changed for good. For the first time in my life I've stopped using the excuse "I'm not a morning person." And although I still frequently seek out a mid-day nap I am well aware of the connection between how much I move during the day and how well I sleep at night.
Last Sunday was Daylight Savings. Roland still hasn't adjusted. Having family in town last week, which lead to several late nights in a row for him hasn't helped. His bed time (ie: when he'll consider going to bed) has been pushed back by about an hour and a half. But that also means that he's not waking up until 9 am every morning. That means that I have been waking up before him, which is just bizarre. But it gives me some time to take in the day, instead of hit the ground running. It was nice this morning to be up and at 'er for a while before my little man, and to have my wits about me when I went in to get him, instead of stumbling in with bleary-eyed impatience.
It's been quite the experience to realize that not being a morning person doesn't mean I can't enjoy the morning... because what kind of excuse is that anyways?


  1. I miss going to bed early. Cole and I rocked at that when we didn't have Kailey. Now Kailey is in bed by 7pm but Cole doesn't get home till 10:30-11pm most nights...usually about four, sometimes five nights a week. I thought about going to bed early but not seeing my husband four to five times a week seemed like the worse idea in the world. I've been wanting to join a class or something but finding something that works with Cole's schedule is super hard. So most days I just strap Kailey in the back pack and go hiking. Using Kailey as a workout tool is helpful in the fact that everyday she's a little heavier...:P

  2. I can kind of relate! I woke up before 7 on Saturdays for a few months to train for a half marathon with a group in Lethbridge and it was awesome! I started it again the next year but also got pregnant and stopped. Doctor's orders. I wanted to do it again this year but with a month old baby it didn't work so well. It made me feel pretty great though. I'm jealous your baby slept/sleeps! Ava is still kind of figuring that out. My biggest worry about having kids was also sleep. And I was right! Not great but worth it. :)