For the first ~12 years of being a parent, I was spread too thin. working full time, doing my best to raise 3 kids, pretending to make healthy meals, trying to keep my house orderly, attempting to stay on top of scheduling the appropriate classes to properly engage my children, trying to be a good spouse, squeezing in time to see friends, etc. During those years, I identified with being a healthy person, but barely ever did I exercise. I mean, truly, how could I fit it in?
My friend Leslie, on the other hand, exercises 5 times a week. What? How was that possible? Her husband was deployed overseas, she was acting as a single mom to 3 kids, while working part time on top of all the other things I mentioned above. So I asked for details.
Leslie wakes at 5:30 to a quiet house to enjoy her cup of coffee (all by herself) and then exercises. By the time she wakes the kids, she has already charged her batteries. Obviously caffeine and exercise help her physical body but she also loves the added emotional stability and strength for the day.
My first reaction was “seriously! I already wake up at 6am so I can shower and be dressed for work before getting the kids ready for school.”
I sat on this idea for a few weeks. And then I tried it. And it worked!
Well it worked as long as I did not think. Sounds counter-intuitive to not think. I had to robotically get out of bed and put on exercise clothes. If I started to think, I would decide not to do it. I even had to save my tea drinking until after exercising because otherwise the time sitting allowed me to reevaluate my priorities. For years now, I wake at 5:30am so I’m ready to exercise at 6am allowing me to leave for work at 7:30am.
Thanks to Leslie, I (typically) exercise ~5 times a week.