I hate waking up in the morning. Absolutely despise it. I know I should be grateful God has blessed me with another day and all that flowery stuff, but still. Waking up makes me angry. Always has.
People used to say things to me like, “When you have children, you’ll be a morning person.” I’ve been a mama for six and a half years now, and I’m still waiting for that to happen.
No matter how much sleep I get, no matter what exciting things are in store for my day, no matter how happy and energetic my children are; I hate waking up. Always will, it seems.
Those are the reasons why the following story is so amazing. In fact, I’m beginning to wonder if someone, or something, has taken up residence in my body or mind.
Two weeks ago, I joined a gym. I had been waffling back and forth on that decision for months. So many things to consider – the expense, the distance from my house and, most importantly, the time. With two littles, a job outside the home and a husband with the world’s craziest work schedule, when would I go to the gym? My best options were super early in the morning before the kids wake up or at night after they are in bed, depending on Mike’s schedule.
Filling out the paperwork and receiving my scanny, keychain, card thingy were the easy parts. After I was official, I had to actually get my butt to the gym. I did a couple late night workouts on the elliptical machine, but even with the TVs and ear buds, it was oh-so-boooooring!
One of the reasons I chose the gym I did is because of the classes. Lots of time slots for Spinning classes and many varieties of aerobics courses.
Last week I decided I would go to the 5:15 a.m. Spinning class on Tuesday. So Monday night, I set my alarm for 4:45 a.m. and slept in my workout clothes. All I had to do upon awaking was put in my contacts, brush my teeth and put on my shoes. It was cold that morning. And snowing. During the three-minute drive to the gym, I was sure the class would consist of the instructor, me and maybe a couple other people.
I arrived early, so the teacher could size me. When I entered the room, there were about 15 bikes set up, and most of them were taken. I was shocked. People really do wake up when it’s dark and work out. Then, even though the sun had not risen yet, it dawned on me. Am I going to be one of those people? I wasn’t sure I wanted to be one of those people, and I especially didn’t want anyone to know I had turned into one of those people.
I stood in the room, looking like a dummy, among several Tall, Fit Women, wondering who the instructor was. Finally, I snapped out of my daze and asked one of them, “Who’s in charge?” Tall, Fit Woman Number One said, “Oh, the instructor will be right back. You can hang your coat in the hallway, and she’ll size you in a minute.”
I turned around, and Tall, Fit Woman Number Two held out her hand, shook mine and introduced herself as the instructor. She looked me up and down, then up again, stopping her eyes on what she thought was my hip bone. After adjusting the height of the seat, she told me to get on the bike. She had me do some pedaling and studied my knees and lower legs as they went round and round. I realized I was wearing capris, but I hadn’t shaved my legs in a few days. Oops. Either she didn’t notice, or she did a good job acting like she didn’t think I was gross.
She explained the bike settings to me, and I squinted my eyes and tried really hard to understand. M and 4. Those were important. Something about 12 on the handlebars. Then she left me to suffer and sweat.
Tall, Fit Woman Number Three approached me and welcomed me. “Is this your first Spinning class?”
“First in a long time.”
“There are a bunch of us who come to the 5:15 a.m. class all the time. Just do the best you can. Don’t feel like you have to keep up.”
“Thanks,” I replied, not knowing whether to feel grateful or defeated.
I saw Instructor put on a fancy headset and microphone. She started the class by talking about heart rates and heart rate monitors. Didn’t have one of those. I already felt lost, so what was one more thing?
The music began. “Where Have You Been?” by Rihanna. Loud and pounding and energizing. “OK,” I thought, “I can do this.”
I had previously been to a couple Spinning classes (not at this particular gym). I must’ve forgotten some of the details because when Instructor began calling out RPMs, I found myself looking around again. Oh, right, I have to turn on this screen in front of me.
Eighty RPMs. Ninety RPMs. About seven minutes into the hour-long workout, I was convinced that I was going to die. At that point, Instructor said, “Three more minutes, and we’ll be done with our warm-up.” Crap.
Like an angel from heaven, Tall, Fit Woman Number Four said, “Instructor, will you turn on the fans?” Ah, a reprieve as I felt cool air. Then, I heard Instructor yell, “STANDING, 80 RPMs!”
I don’t remember much else about that first Spinning class. Except feeling like I was going to throw up or die, or both, multiple times. And thinking, if she says, “ADD RESISTANCE!” one more time, I might have to throw my water bottle at her.
No, I did not always keep up. No, it was not fun. No, it was definitely not pretty. But I finished it. And, more importantly, I think – I’ve been going back.
My bum and my back hurt the first few times, and I had a massive bruise on my left inner thigh. But I’ve been going back.
I still hate waking up. While I am proud to say I’m getting up super early and working out, I am often still tired throughout the morning and the entire day.
When I told Elliot about my workouts, he responded, “You’ve been getting up and going to the gym before I even wake up?!”
“Yep, it’s pretty crazy.”
The next day he gave me what he called a Christmas card. All it said was “For Mom,” with a drawing of a stick figure.
“Tell me about this picture,” I said.
“It’s you working out at the gym.”
It now hangs on the fridge next to the Spinning schedule.
Originally published on ovparent.com.