What is your morning routine?
Before I take my first step out of bed, I smile. Once I’m out of bed, I make my way downstairs to the kitchen and peek through the window facing the city to see the twinkle and sparkle of the Freedom Tower from miles and miles away. There’s a hope in that shimmer, and a calm in my morning with no music, television, blogs, tweets, or digital awareness.
During that calm I brew a pot of coffee, eat something, then head out to Guerrilla Fitness (crossfit, strength training, and endurance gym – ed.) before the sun comes up and anyone else in the house is awake. That calm in my day is perfectly countered for me into the storm my body, heart and soul face within the gym. Every day brings on a new challenge with every new morning, my routine faces constantly varied functional movements. Rinse, lather, repeat five days a week.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
Years ago I was not a “morning person” at all. I wanted to learn what it meant to be a morning person, and broke that routine cold turkey. It’s been nearly a year in this current routine, and I love every single moment of it.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
Way back when I was funemployed, I would wake whenever and eat whatever, and rely on four cups of coffee to fuel my day ahead.
I no longer rely on caffeine. I no longer allow a consumer-minded, touchscreen-lit awareness to take root in the hours given to me each day. Before, I was often mentally engaged in email, but thankfully, I broke that routine and have refocused my attention to that surgical precision instead of the butter knife spread of awareness it would create for me unnecessarily.
What time do you go to sleep?
These days, I like to be in bed as close to 10:00pm as possible, as my body requires the rest and ability to recover from the physical challenges it faces with CrossFit, while my mind requires the mental recuperation.
With that being said, I have zero issues staying up until 4-5:00am if the situation calls for it. Mind over matter, and I don’t mind. I sleep like a baby, and dream regularly, so why wouldn’t I try to get to that awesome land of nod sooner for my evening adventures to begin?
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
My alarm wakes me up with the most awful ringtone (trill) my iPhone has to offer, though my body and being are synced pretty well these days to a circadian rhythm with my ticker inside, so often that alarm clock is an after thought.
There is no snooze button, ever.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
Within twenty minutes of being awake I eat something.
Usually there are hard-boiled eggs in the fridge for protein, a banana with some almond butter for some slow/fast-burning energy, and a splash of coffee into a protein shake with coconut water mixed in before I head out to the gym.
On rest days, I eat a healthy omelet with some Ezekiel bread and a black cup of coffee with coconut oil mixed into it. Don’t scrunch your eyebrows, it’s delicious.
Do you see to email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
I work in a world that mimics a cc’d carnival. Carnivals have carousels, we have Outlook.
There is no email until after my workout, breakfast, coffee, and shower. If there is an emergency important enough, they’ll call.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning, either for calls/messages or social media and news?
I might not check my voicemail for days. The way technology has progressed, odds are good that someone in dire straights that needs to reach me probably isn’t standing by a payphone, hoping I pick up.
Social media is checked before email, which is after breakfast, CrossFit, shower, and coffee. News, as our grandparents used to call it, is checked via social media or email alerts.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
I’m a svelte (slim, slender – ed.) guy, so food is vital for my day to begin on the right note. Besides fuelling up, I find that getting myself into Guerrilla when I can first thing in the morning legitimately sharpens my mind and body for the day ahead.
I learn something new about myself there regularly, and channel that into the day ahead for helping others.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
Protein shake (from grassfed, healthy/natural source) with coconut water.
If I’m eating twenty minutes after I wake up, I’m probably drinking that shake a few minutes after the food lands in my belly.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
I am open to changes and don’t panic if my regular routine is broken due to travelling, work, or whatever.
I love to roll around the bed and sleep in. Life goes on, and cuddling with the covers is one of life’s ultimate joys. However, if I’m on the road, and the option is there to wake up earlier and find a local CrossFit affiliate on the road in whatever city I’m visiting, I try to keep myself honest and go drop-in with their permission. I love and live for the sunrises of the cities and locations I travel to.
What do you do if you fail to follow your routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
I live a life from the inside out; I believe in being awesome on the inside. When you find that balance of mind, heart, and soul, something like a broken routine, or failed morning activity doesn’t get you down. Tomorrow is another day.
I used to get upset when my routine was messed with, but I’m learning with each new day (and failed morning routine) to chalk it up and learn from the feelings and balance them from within.
Find one moment in that space of time that’s special for you. You lost your regular hour of routine? Find one minute for you.