T h e A d v e n t u r e s o f C h i c a g o J o


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Rise and Shine

2008-01-15    6:02 p.m.
Isn’t it funny how one small change can affect so many other things? After getting back from Hawaii, I started hitting the gym with my brother. Spending so much time with him, he smacked my hand when I reached for cookies, corrected my orders at restaurants, and interrupted everything I did at the gym to tell me that I was doing it all wrong.

In just a few weeks, I already saw a difference. And actually seeing changes for the first time ever, I’m motivated to keep it going. With exception to yesterday’s lunch (because you listen to the uterus, or else it makes you PAY), I’ve got my leg up on the proteins, have shunned the wonderfully tasty white foods, and drink enough water to pee out an entire fish tank of liquid.

Just this morning I got a giggle at myself. Water -- whether from a bottling source or the tap -- tastes better when I drink it from a plastic bottle. Having no bottle at my desk, I went to the vending machine to purchase one. Back in the day, I visited this machine often for an afternoon taste of Diet Coke. When I slipped my dollar in, my hand instinctively pressed for the nectar of the gods before I realized what I was doing.

My brain went “Noooooooooo!” and I quickly pressed the bottled water button really, really hard. Ya know, because pressing it harder allows the machine to discern my intentions. Alas, my plea was heard, and a bottle of Aquafina was dispensed. Many thanks, soda machine. I appreciate it.

Lately I’ve become friends with someone who gets up at 6:15 each morning to workout. He swears that after five minutes in the gym, he’s not nearly as tired as he thought he was when the alarm originally began its chirping.

Since 2008 began, I’ve been setting the alarm early to make an attempt at getting my workout out of the way by sticking it as the first thing accomplished during my day. So far I’ve gotten a big FAIL on my endeavor, but it’s not really deterred me from giving it a try the next day. Each night I set my alarm and say that, yes, tomorrow is the day that I start my morning workouts, leaving my evenings free to watch American Gladiators, play volleyball with the Catholics, take that hip hop dance class with one of my best friends, and attend at least one of the six happy hour invitations I get each week.

On Saturday I was responding to an email and did a little math. I don’t have to be to work until 9. When I shower, get gussied up, and walk to work from the gym, it takes 45 minutes flat. My weights workout takes no more than an hour -- including abs, stretching, and an adequate warm up. When I do 9:00 minus 1:45, it’s not the ungodly 6:15 that my alarm has been set for lately. Oh no no no! I can get nearly an extra hour of sleep than what I’m currently attempting!

Last night I remembered my previous calculations and set the alarm accordingly. Lo and behold, waking up wasn’t nearly as shitty as all of my previous attempts. I stumbled to the bathroom to pee, brush my teeth, and wash my face. I staggered to the closet to put on the stack of clothes I laid out the night before, including enough Siberia gear to protect me on the walk. I then picked up my gym bag packed with work clothes and toiletries, gave Hambone a scoop of food and a pat on his pretty wittle kitty head, and headed out the door.

I love living in Chicago’s Loop for many reasons. The silence and solitude in the early mornings and late evenings is especially wonderful. I love the juxtaposition between the large buildings bustling with commerce during the day and the evening walks I can take without doing that urban bob and weave to avoid other worker bees off to their cubicles. This morning’s walk to the gym was no different.

Jaywalking isn’t hazardous. The sun’s not quite up, yet there’s enough light that the street lights aren’t much use. No smokers stand outside the various government buildings, smoking away our tax dollars on non-mandated breaks.

When I got to the gym, I was happy to see that it wasn’t packed. Machines were open, there was only one guy grunting as he improperly did curls (if you’re swinging your arms to lift the dumbbells, go down in weight), and I didn’t have to avoid the meat farts from the boys in the free weights section.

Depending on how sleepy I feel later on tonight, I’ll tentatively say that I enjoyed working out in the morning.  

Miss something?

Moving Day - 2008-02-15
Working from Home is Glorious - 2008-02-13
Speaking in Tongues - 2008-02-07
I Have My Reasons - 2008-01-25
Got an Itch, Fix it, Shine it Up, Sing it Out - 2008-01-23

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