this morning I was at the gym by 5 so that I could be home by 6:15.
my 16-year-old son left on a bus headed to las vegas this morning, and I had to prepare his "lunch" (a chicken on ciabatta sandwich, 2 PB&J's, 2 granola bars, 5 chocolate chip cookies, a large bag of doritos, and a 2-day supply of beef jerky) and deliver him to school by 6:45. picture, if you can, a charter bus with 42 male, high school age lacrosse players, on a 7 hour trip to a tournament, missing a school day, free from teachers and parents for three days . . .
it was like a reunion at the gym: I walked in at 5:02 to see nick, bunny, and richard already busy on their chosen cardio machines. a year ago I was consistently there with them each morning at 5. but this year my arrival time is closer to 5:40, and by 6 am I have waved goodbye to all 3 of them.
nick asked me this morning what was wrong, could I not sleep?
ah, even if I couldn't sleep, I doubt I would drag myself out of bed and go to the gym because of it.
I paused a lot this morning.
I always arrange my workout so that I alternate exercises, letting one muscle group rest while I work on another: I'll do lunges paired with seated rows, then leg curls paired with superman flies, and so on. this way I can keep moving, and make the most of my time there. I don't like to waste my precious time. I'm forever thinking about the order of my workout, planning what will be next based on machine and floor space availability and letting my legs or arms recover before fatiguing them again.
but this morning, I found myself adding a few moments' rest in between some of my activities. sometimes it was to stretch, and sometimes it was to let my heartrate drop back down. and once or twice it was just to wipe sweat off my forehead.
but I didn't rush myself through a single one of those pauses.
richard, bunny, and nick all left before me, and when I left the place was hopping with the next wave of regulars, the cardio machines humming and weight machines clanking and whirring.
driving home a little after 6, I remembered again how much I love the early early morning, knowing that I've already got a leg up on my day.