Mornings used to be a struggle for me. For long stretches of time in the past, I’d wake up, hit snooze, steal a few more minutes of sleep, and then repeat many times in a miserable cycle of wanting to lay in bed under my covers more than I wanted to get up. This shouldn’t be too shocking. Bed was comfy, and I had to get up to do unpleasant things. Even when I did get up, I would waste time on my phone or laptop instead of getting out of bed.
That was a consistently terrible way to start the day. I’d waste hours neither really enjoying myself nor getting anything done. So I changed it. Basically everything about my morning has changed, so I will lay out the complete morning routine here.
Every day the first thing I do is wake up. On some days an alarm gets me up at a certain time. Most days I let the sun coming through my window wake me up somewhere between six and nine. Some days I want to go back to bed, so I hit snooze or just close my eyes again. If I have to use the bathroom, I’ll do that and then return to a sleeping position. Unlike before, though, I almost never actually want to stay there for more than three minutes. So I cancel the snooze or get up.
I imagine a substantial part of this is due to my deciding to not get a bed. When I moved in September, I spent a couple weeks trying to decide what kind of bed best fit my needs. After thinking about it for awhile, I realized with my goal of not wasting hours of the morning relaxing in bed, I was best served by the floor. (In December my friend gave me a sleeping bag. If you choose to abandon a bed, I do advise a sleeping bag. You do gain a little comfort, but in exchange you get a texture that’s easier on your skin and the small amount of padding is much, much easier on your body.) As an extra bonus, in the evening time, there’s no comfy bed tempting me to turn in early. I stay up doing things until I’m so exhausted I’m ready to hit the floor.
Often when I wake up I give my phone three to five minutes of attention. I check if I have any important messages and maybe indulge in a blog post. Then I’m eager to get off the floor and get moving.
I proceed into the bathroom (with an outfit) and turn on the shower. Then I remember I need water and go into the kitchen for a glass or three. Then I start my morning music on my phone. I try to keep the music moving. In general, I keep the music in the morning high tempo or upbeat. I reserve the slower or grander music for the evenings.
As the water warms up, I do a series of mobility exercises to get going. (Borrowed from here.) About five to ten of each of the following:
- neck turns
- neck tilts (up/down/left/right)
- shoulder rolls
- arm circles
- elbow circles
- torso twists
- wrist circles
- ankle circles
- leg circles
- high knees
- kick own ass
- toe curls
- pelvic thrust
- bring it around town
Then I get in the shower and dance to the music while cleaning myself. My personal favorite song to include in this is Combichrist’s “Get Your Body Beat”.
After I finish in the shower and get dressed, the rest of the routine depends on the day. If it’s not a Sunday, I move onto some stretching:
- scapular shrugs
- cat camels
- finger pulses
- wrist pulses
- putting my hands on the floor, fingers to my knees, and rocking back and forth
I need to get some bands to do a few more. (The stretches, strength work, and skill work are from here.) Then bodyline work:
- side plank
- reverse plank
- hollow hold
- arch hold
I really should time these, but counting throws me off and I last longer focusing on the music. Perhaps I should get a stopwatch to keep track of my progress.
If it’s a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I move onto strength training, which right now consists of:
- L-sit (Right now I have my heels on the floor–the goal is 3×8 without any help from the floor. Right now I’m at 3×4. My wrist is in the healing process, so hopefully when my wrist doesn’t scream in pain when bearing weight I’ll have a better go of it.)
- Step ups (Right now I use a chair. I’m having an easy go of 3×8 of these, and my balance is improving, too. I might need to find a higher surface to work with. Part of the trick is right now this is all before I head out the door. If I were to do this elsewhere I might find more options…) (Anyhow, I do L-sits, rest, Step ups, rest, and repeat until I have done three sets of each.)
- Push ups (Again, 3×8, and paired with the next item. Using an incline for now while I focus on the form and let my wrist heal. Usually after warming up it’s not too bad, but on the floor is still too much for it.)
- Rows (Inclined for now. I used to use a table, but the table we have now is too weak. I’ll be getting a bar soon (or finding a good place with one) and then I’ll be able to properly do horizontal rows. Those are too fun. It’s probably for the best I save them for the end.)
If it’s Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday, I move on to skill work instead. I spend a few minutes working on my handstand (which right now is a very inclined plank. I’m probably at a 4pi/9 angle with the floor. Once my head stops feeling like it will explode I imagine it gets easier. Yay for content to post updates on). Then I move on to parallel bar support. Or, due to lack of parallel bars, holding myself up on the L counter. I fully intend to add a dead hang, but that will require a bar. If anyone knows of any good bars…
Any weekday, after this stuff, if I’m hungry, I grab a waffle or something small. Usually I abandon breakfast and toss a small snack in my bag just in case. I fill my water bottle, have another glass or two of water, and head out the door. The department is about a mile away, and I run that distance. My goal right now is seven minutes with weight. Then I drink some more water.
If it’s a weekend, my schedule is more volatile. I do make sure I get in a minimum of two miles of running in every day, though that’s in part because otherwise I have too much energy and get irritated being sedentary.
At that point the morning is over and the day begins.