I like to think of myself as a morning person. Most days I actually am one. By morning I mean that period of time between night and when the sun rises. Pre-dawn is my time. It goes back to when I coached crew and had to be up at 4:30 to get to the boathouse. It was a struggle at times, but the payoff was when I was out on the river as the sky slowly flooded with light. We used to say that we did more before the sun came up than most people did all day. I’ve heard that same expression used with people in the military like Jocco Willink who’s started a cult following with his 4:30 club.
As a 50-something, I’ve grown lazy. Sure I try to get my 10,000 steps. But I rarely lift weights anymore, and even rowing on the erg is hit or miss. Doing either at 4:30 is prohibitively unpleasant. At least that’s what I tell myself. And so I put off working out and have a coffee or two. I journal or read.
There’s a 63 year old character named Joe in Hampton, New Hampshire who goes for a power walk every morning before sunrise. His wife also goes for a power walk but they don’t walk together. Instead Joe walks with a flight attendant of roughly the same age while his wife walks with some other friends. Occasionally they meet up and walk together at the end of their respective power walks, but usually they do their own walks independent of each other. Joe looks a lot like Rodney Dangerfield and has a similar sense of humor. I imagine his walks with the flight attendant are filled with much laughter.
Joe used to live in Atkinson, New Hampshire where I live. He downsized a few years ago, selling his house, his condo on the lake up in Maine and the boat that he had up there for a condo near the beach in Hampton. Joe is happier now than I recall him ever being. He works part time in a butcher shop, power walks and flirts with women half his age. Joe is a morning person for sure.
For me being outside getting some exercise before sunrise is just about the perfect start to the day. I’ve settled for a couple of cups of coffee and some light reading. It’s about time I get back to being a real morning person.