Creating time to train in my schedule

One look at my Google Calendar was enough to elicit a big sigh. It’s one of those days with endless meetings, phone calls and deadlines. It’s one of those jam-packed schedules that causes me to become anxious in anticipation of the day and wish I had an assistant or at least lived in an apartment with a dishwasher.

So I had to make a choice: How would I get my workouts in today? I decided on a super-early morning spin class followed by my 6-mile run on the treadmill at the gym. It was the best fit for my schedule and offers me the possibility of nap in the early afternoon, between the meetings and interviews and the deadlines and presentations.

While I’m a morning person, waking up with my 4:45 a.m. alarm isn’t easy. But I do it. Because I know I will feel better once I’m moving. I know that spin class and running will ground me for the day. It will give me energy and peace — a foundation upon which to create my day. It’s very metaphorical at this time of day, a bit outside the conventional box. I like, or else I wouldn’t do it.

Exercise and training is important to me and so I anchor my day around it. I could look at my latest schedule as making sacrifices. I could frame it that I sacrificed sleep or time with my family and friends. But I look at is as a choice. This is what I choose to do and it’s important to me. It not only makes me happy, but puts me in a place where I am strong and comfortable and confident. From this place, I can be a better co-worker, friend, girlfriend, daughter, sister, etc. There’s a popular sentiment that you can’t give away what you don’t have. And if I don’t create my own health and happiness, there’s not much of me to give in the first place.

I thought about this after reading a blog post from Jenny Evans of Powerhouse Performance Coaching. She recently wrote about the myth of “spare time” particularly as it relates to exercise:

Are you ever really “done” with your to-do list? Think back to the last time you had extra time on your hands….when was it?

What would happen if you anchored your day around your workouts? If you looked at your calendar for tomorrow, figured out the best time to exercise (even if it’s only for a few minutes), wrote it in, made it the priority it is, and then scheduled everything else around it?

I thought about what has shifted for me since I’ve anchored my schedule around my workouts. I’m happier and healthier. I have more confidence. I actually get more done. So today might be a terribly long day. I may have chosen to make it longer by getting up butt-early for an early morning visit to the gym. But I already feel infinitely better that I took that time for myself. I already feel productive and the day has just begun. I’d say that I made a pretty good choice.

Post-script: Yesterday I wrote about my co-worker and friend Allen Wilson who is battling leukemia. He received some bad news yesterday when they discovered his brother was no longer in a position to be a bone marrow donor. This is a blow to his treatment and recovery. Prayers, positive thoughts or karma points are greatly appreciated.


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