So yesterday when I went for a run around five in the morning it was noticeably darker. And though I tried to tell myself that it must be overcast, the reality is the days are getting shorter. As a lover of autumn, this is normally something I celebrate. However, this year this also means that some of my time outdoors in the morning may be coming to an end. I know I can still go later, since it is summer, but the difference between five and six in the morning is vast. There is something about being awake when most of the world is still sleeping. There is a lovely solitude that is both empowering and sometimes frightening. I am proud that I have mostly overcome my fear to exercise at such a time, especially when I go alone. I honestly don’t know if I will feel as comfortable when dawn in still two hours away.
With this in mind, it is time to join a gym. I am not ready to give up completely on running or biking outside but, as I look forward to the upcoming shorter length of days, I know it is an inevitable conclusion. I know enough about myself to know I need this in place before school starts. I will have to be in the habit of going inside to exercise. I will need to find a way to motivate myself to go at five in the morning, something I already see as a problem. When the alarm goes off at 4:30 I picture myself running outside or biking. I can see the streets I will travel and I know, or think I know, how I will feel at each part of my workout. I know the parts that will bring me joy and the parts that will be difficult. It pulls me out of bed, both the challenge and the anticipation. I just can’t see the gym doing this. I worry that bike riding and running will seem boring. I worry that it will be too hard to motivate myself and all too easy to turn over. How can biking on a stationary bike possibly replace the thrill and the wind of being outside?
But, if I don’t have an alternative, how will I ever be able to continue throughout the winter months? So funny, that I never saw this part coming.