On Becoming A Morning Person
Written by: DCCF-er EA Duncan
I have never been a morning person. I was raised by night owls who eat dinner at 9 p.m. and never go to sleep until after the 11 o clock news. I spent my childhood as the kid that had to be physically removed from bed 8 minutes before I needed to be in the car. I never purposefully scheduled a college/ law school class before 9 a.m. and I certainly never saw the inside of a gym in the morning.
Therefore, when I started CrossFit my beginner “options” were 6 a.m. or 6 p.m. and I saw no option and began my journey in Jenn’s 6 p.m. class. When I completed that I asked her what class she regularly taught and she said 7 p.m. and I followed her because I was a scared newbie CrossFitter and I wasn’t ready for the world of new coaches. From then on I was a tried and true night class person. I was so all in and addicted I never noticed that this meant I rarely accomplished anything outside the gym on weeknights.
Last spring being a commuter, owning a dog, the gym moving locations and a shift in priorities requiring more night time commitments all came to a head and I realized I was going to have to make a morning class work or quit the gym. I will never forget the look on people’s faces the first day I showed up at 6 a.m.
I wouldn’t say my transition was flawless. I have hit some rough patches along the way. Daylight savings is a bitch and I cannot wait until it is not completely dark every morning. The holiday season means more events and later bed times and more skipping than I wanted. I will fully admit that I do not feel as strong at 6 a.m. as I do at night. I obviously miss the friends and coaches from nights that I only see on weekends now. But for me, the trade offs have been huge and my commitment level is back where I want it. (Someday I will actually check in on the ipad every day I work out and get some social media credit and stop getting the side eye emails but I digress.)
My Common Sense Pro Tips for Becoming a Morning Class Person: 1. Pack your stuff the night before: I shower at the gym and go on to work so one of the worst parts of the process is need 7 different bags every morning but as long as they are packed and by the door I manage 2. Sleep in your gym clothes 3. Set your alarm (shout out to Apple for the “Bedtime” feature that nags you to remind you to go to bed & wakes you up with a gradually louder soothing noise) for 5 minutes earlier than you need so you can have a full internal debate where you remind yourself to just put your feet on the floor and stop being a baby. 4. Do only the 100% required morning task (mine: brush teeth, let out dog, make coffee, grab 7 bags) and get your ass in the car: I’ve found that until I am in the car I am the angriest human on earth. Once I’ve got my coffee and the radio is blaring, I’m good. The great part about CrossFit is that is all you really have to do. The programming and motivation are provided upon arrival.
Pep Talk If You’re Considering Becoming a Morning Person: When I tell you “if I can do it, [almost] anyone can do it” I believe it. It’s only been a few years since I was twice as likely to see 5 a.m. on the back end of a day than the front and now I have a standing 5:15 alarm. By the time I arrive I’m happy to be there and see my friends. (I may not always look it, 6 a.m. friends/coaches… but I am!) And what my morning people have always said is SO TRUE: there is this magical moment later in the day where you think to yourself “Oh shit! I already did that work out! I am done for the day!” because you were half asleep while you embraced the suck earlier and now it all feels like a weird dream. Plus, now you can make happy hour. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Elizabeth Ann Duncan (E.A.) is an attorney by trade and an amateur CrossFit nerd by choice. She joined Derby City CrossFit in 2012 and she has been a 6 a.m. person for almost 1 year now. No one is more surprised about that than her. She’s almost always down for happy hour plans.