Most people hit the snooze button a few times before rolling themselves out of bed and wishing they had a couple more hours of shut-eye. That wasn't me at 5:37am today. I bounced out of bed and couldn't wait to start my day.
I am not a morning person. In fact, when I was training for my half marathons, I refused to wake up that early to run. Are you kidding me? My friends would do their long runs on the weekends at 7am and I wanted no part in that. I would sleep in till about 8am, have a light breakfast, warm-up my muscles a bit...I wouldn't start running until my stomach and legs told me they were ready, which would typically be between about 10am and noon.
Bootcamp is a different story.
For some reason, waking up between 5:30am and 5:40am during the week to exercise at bootcamp is not something that I dread, but it's actually something I look forward to. What do I love about it?
- I get my exercise over with before work
- I don't have to deal with traffic to get there
- I get to see the sunrise on my drive to class
- I feel strong, empowered, and confident during the workout
- I see the progress I've made when I look at my reflection with the flattering red tinted light bouncing off my skin (seriously, the lighting in the room is awesome- all body types look ripped!)
- I feel energized, productive, and happy when I'm driving home, sweaty and energized
I've only been attending bootcamp for the last month. It's a 6:15am class that I go to 3 days a week to get my butt kicked and I love every second of it. For 1 hour, we alternate 5-15 minutes of interval training on a treadmill (varying speeds and incline) with 5-15 minutes of strength training using dumbbells, bands, benches and our body weight. My favorite part of the package? All I have to do is show up and do the work. I don't have to look at the time because the instructor tells us what to do and when, and I don't let myself quit because I'm surrounded by other people who are working their butts off too. The classes are more $$ than a gym membership or exercising outside so that motivates me to push myself as hard as I can so for that one hour I am challenging myself to go beyond what I think I'm capable of.
One of my favorite sayings is "If you keep doing what you've already done, you're going to get the same results you've always gotten". If you keep doing the same exercises and you're not increasing the intensity or weight, you're eventually going to plateau and you're not going to see results. So I know that as I continue going to these classes and putting in 110% effort, I am going to get stronger, faster, and leaner. This morning I had a particularly good workout and I was thinking in mid-sprint that you really get out what you put in. If I'm spending money on this class, I want to get as much out of it as possible. If I don't do the work, I'm only cheating myself. What's the point in that? I might as well still be asleep if I'm not giving it my all.
The reason why I do this class is because I enjoy it (and because it's one of the most effective 1 hour workouts I've ever done). I think it's extremely important that you find exercise you love because life is too short to spend time doing activities you dread doing.
If being in a gym is not your thing, don't go to the gym! Exercise outside or in the comfort of your own home. If you hate running, don't feel like you have to train for a marathon just because your friends are. There are plenty of ways to stay fit and it's even fun to switch it up from time to time. I used to go to the gym 5-6 days a week for YEARS, then I went through a bootcamp phase (I did it for a few months a couple of years ago and then took a break before reintroducing it last month), then I used to workout during lunch at work with my co-workers, then I used to workout outside training for races, and now I'm back to bootcamp.
Whatever you want to do to stay in shape is fine, just get your body moving and do something that you enjoy.