The key to getting anything done is to trick myself into the habits of starting. The key to getting out of bed and going to the gym is just doing it, without thinking about it. It’s trite but true! If I set the alarm too early, with time enough to hit the snooze once or twice, then somewhere between the first and second hit I start rationalizing:
“I could just skip today…” floats through my mind, “I could reset the alarm to forty-five minutes from now. I’m not really snoozing anyway; I’m worrying. And, if I reset the clock, then I can really go back to sleep and finish this dream.”
I’m just holding on to the ragged edges of the dream as it unravels, like knitting, in my semi-conscious mind.
“There was something about my grandfather explaining why there were five silver fish in the apple tree…no, no, it was my mother, and she was cleaning the fish – no wait, there was something urgent. Was there something I was supposed to remember to do today?”
The alarm goes off again, my husband’s hand flails across to my side of the bed, patting at the pillow and trying, in vain, to stop the noise. I hit the snooze again.
“Now was that the second or the third snooze? If it was the third snooze, then I might as well just sleep because there won’t be time to get enough of a work out to justify getting up.”
At this point if I turn on the light my body will switch to automatic; if the light stays off I’m sunk.
If I do turn on the light, then all moves follow the groove of habit and I glide, choice-free, from bed to gym. I pull on the sweats lying on the floor next to my side of the bed, my bags are already in the car, the drive is routine, I park always in the same spot. I’ve chosen what workout to do the night before as well.
When I’m about halfway done the beginnings of righteous pride begin to sprout. By the time I hit the shower, they are in full bloom, “That was not bad at all, that little bit.” I muse, as my soul sings paeans to the genius that engineered hot showers at the push of a button. “I feel pretty good actually! If I had more time I’m sure I could have run at least two or three more miles.”
I’m positively smug. And by the time I’m walking out to the car the great snooze button struggle has shrunk to distant dreamlike insignificance – but in truth, that was the hardest part!