July 8th, 2008

summer reading

There's a Whole Other World Out There

I was awoken at around 1:10 am last night to my husband saying, "I'm sorry". Given that I sleep like the dead, whatever he did to wake me up must have been loud. Of course, once awake I couldn't get back to sleep.

I went to the 5:20 am class at the gym called "Cardio Sculpt" which sounds from the title like it might be kind of challenging, but in reality it wasn't. For me, I think the hardest part of going regularly would be getting out of bed. We stopped to check our pulse a few times and the instructor would say, "You're in the 20-27 count range, right?" and I nodded even though my count was something like 15. I totally suck at checking my pulse, though, so it's entirely possible I just wasn't counting correctly. On the way out the instructor introduced herself to me and after responding with my name I told her I wasn't much of a morning person, so it's possible I'll never be back to her class. (I think I stated it more politely than that, but given the fuzzy feeling in my brain right now I really can't be certain.) From her answer to that statement, I'd guess that's something she's heard before.

On the way to the gym I was trying to calculate how many times I've been up at dawn. Outside of the years when my mom hustled my siblings and me out of bed at 0'dawn hundred for picking berries*, I'd say the number of times I've gotten up and seen dawn can be roughly counted on fingers and toes. The number of times I've seen dawn because I was still up from the night before is likely a higher number. I'm a night owl and always have been. My daughter is, too, and there have been many nights when the two of us have been awake into the wee sma's while my husband slumbers.

It was pretty cool being out and about at 5:00 am, though. It's going to be a hot day, and signs of the rising heat could already be seen that early. As I drove by a wildlife refuge (a wetland area), a thick mist was rising from the earth and slowly drifting toward the highway. It created a fog close to the ground that was so dense one could have been forgiven for thinking it was autumn, if only for a moment.

My usual response to being out and about that early is to think it's pretty neat to get to see sunrise and nice to be out there nearly alone to enjoy it. Then I'll think how great it would be if I did it more often, but that's quickly followed by "oh, who are you kidding?" and I know odds of being up again that early anytime soon are long. Very long.

I can see already that I'll be consuming caffeine like crazy today. I had tea with an english muffin before the workout, then more tea when I got home. Then yet more tea when I got to work and had my second breakfast. I know, I sound like a hobbit, but it was about 4 hours after the first breakfast so it was kind of like getting started on lunch. Or maybe it's more accurate to say 'first lunch' because I can guarantee I'll be looking for more food in a couple of hours. Sometimes I wonder if I come out that much ahead calorie-wise when working out in the morning because I swear it seems like all I want to do is eat the rest of the day.

Speaking of tea, I think it's time for some more of it and time to get back to sorting through the in box. Hopefully the next jolt of caffeine will do the trick and help me feel coherent. How do people survive on small amounts of sleep over long periods of time? After one night of a few hours of sleep I feel half dead and like my brain is on vacation. So, yeah, time for that tea. Stat.

*From mid-June to mid-August throughout childhood and into the high school years. Summer meant stained fingers and scratches all over the hands and arms. Plus a little extra spending money when it came time to buying clothes and supplies for school. There used to be "berry buses" for kids to take when they were going to the fields solo. Even though we live adjacent to some farming areas, I don't think those buses exist around us any more. If they did, I'd have my daughter on them. I think the only way a person can really appreciate what having a work ethic and earning money means is to get out and do some work. It seems to me it's the kind of thing best learned in childhood and it's too bad the opportunities for kids to work outside the home are pretty scarce these days.