I need to be clear: it is not high on my list of Favorite Things to Do to get up at 5 am. or even 5:13.
I don't like the pressure to get to bed early the night before, nor the grogginess and difficulty of pushing myself out over the edge of my mattress and onto the floor. nor the creaking and groaning muscles, ligaments, tendons, and limbs.
I do not like it sam I am.
but being out in the cool morning air, listening to bird chatter and leaf rustling, watching the sky change and the light hit earthen grooves to create shadows and reliefs, and finally reaching the top of the hill and looking out at the kingdom one possesses makes those early awakenings completely, entirely worth it.
I find the symbiosis between working for something and reaping a reward to be similar to my getting-up-and-then-eventually-being-grateful scenario: almost every effort is more meaningful when a benefit, reward, or some other pampering or indulgence follows, and in return, the enjoyment gained from those rewards is exponentially increased when serious effort is involved in the work.
for example, this afternoon's nap was so well earned (early early morning ride up big mountain, three hours of mom-time at the lacrosse field, lawn mowing, edging, laundry, and house cleaning all preceded said event) that I just lay there with a smile on my face until I drifted off. I was bone tired and that nap was glorious.
I believe we are programmed to find fulfillment in accomplishment, to find joy in stretching ourselves, to delight in discovering extended boundaries to our abilities. we will never know what we're capable of until we push the next limit.
I'm still not ready (and predict I will never be so) to join the adventure racing crowd, or the ironman participant crew, or even that large faction of triathletes.
that's okay. I seem to find plenty other ways to challenge myself and push my boundaries just a little further than their last placement.
and then I take a nap.