A staple of L.A. culture is waking up early AF for a morning workout class. Whether it’s SoulCycle, Barry’s, or some other trendy fitness boutique (hey OTF!) it seems like everyone in La La Land is up at the crack of dawn working out. As one does, the first thing I check in the AM are my socials before my work email. Through perusing IG and Snapchat I began noticing that many of my LA-based friends were posing with their iced matcha green tea lattes before I’d even started made my morning espresso.
Because I work remotely, I have some flexibility in my schedule. I love having the liberty of not always combating morning traffic. While I do have to get up around the same time most people leave for work, I get to take calls or write emails from the comfort of a couch or in my pajamas. But not having an office to go or a team to meet with first thing in the morning does have some cons. For example, I’m a person that likes to be around people. When I’m around friends or colleagues I feel activated and my productivity drive grows. A remedy to my lack of company that I want to commit to again are morning fitness classes.
When I first began my amateur athlete journey I decided to start by going the extra mile. My weekends consisted of me rowing like a madman at 7am. Despite dragging myself into the room, I left light as air and with a smile well earned. Even though I wasn’t directly interacting with the people around me, being in that space set me up for success for the entire day. Maybe it was the endorphins or it was that feeling of pride of sweating off all my angst I just felt so great after a morning workout.
As my workload became more demanding I started reaching for the snooze button instead of my pre sunrise smoothies. Today for example, I was all set for a 7:30am class. I went to bed the night before at like 10pm and my gym and work bag were all packed. The plan was to wake up, drink a protein shake, break a sweat, shower at the studio, and spend the rest of the day cranking at work at a nearby Starbucks. However, when my alarm went off at 7 I sighed with defeat and hit snooze. I didn’t even get that much sleep - I just layed there with my eyes closed. My 9am call was happening whether I was ready for it or not. And when the time came I took the call but felt like I was just empty headed through it.
Everyone's mornings look different. Some people do yoga, others read, and some medidiate. Whatever ritual you follow in the morning it’s important to do something before you do work. The magic of a good morning routine is that it gives your mind and body an opportunity to calibrate itself for the turbulence of the day to come. I very much agree with this notion and advocate for at least a morning stretch before you jump into the stress of work.
I wrote this because this morning I felt so disappointed with myself. I thought, You were doing so good! How did you get so lazy? After doing some soul searching I realized that I was being too hard on myself. Slipping out of my AM gym routine did not cause me to slow down or even break my amaetur active lifestyle. The same drive to push my body and eat well was still there, it just wasn’t what I was seeing on social media. I’ve become more of an evening active person simply because my job became draining and I did need that extra hour of sleep.
Being healthy and celebrating your body is more than just the aesthetic we strive for. From nutrition to mental health, taking care of our bodies is a full process. Just because you might not want to join the gang for an 8am pilates class doesn’t mean you're falling behind or failing yourself. Yeah your friends might be grabbing a Kardashian inspired brunch when you’re just getting your grind on, it happens. There’s no reason you also can’t simply ask them to wait for you or maybe you just hit the gym after a good meal.
Right now, I do think that my mornings have become somewhat stagnant. I wake up, chill and catch up on news, and then start work. Because I want to seize the day and make the most of it I’ve started to start making my morning stretches more substantial. Even when I make breakfast I have begun to reduce the carbs or sugars that go into my meal.
If you’ve ever felt, or currently feel, like you’re in a morning rut, I’m here to say don’t! Life is crazy, chaotic, and sometimes just cruel. Don’t exert yourself too much or feel like waking up to get active is punishment. No! Starting or continuing your morning ritual should be a celebration of you and your body. As for me, with all that’s going on in my life I think that adding that hour of sleep is not only well earned, but necessary. Do what you need to and treat yourself in the AM, because it’s the only time of day that’s truly yours before you have to commit to someone else’s or your company's schedule.
Author William Samayoa
Marketer by profession and storyteller by passion. L.A. raised, proud Latino, and pop culture enthusiast.