I, not too long ago, seemingly lived a life in complete opposition to the one I’m living now, well, in regards to time anyways. I was, undeniably, a night owl, staying out as late as I possibly could while still functioning at work the very next day. Wage slavery be damned, I was set on sucking up all the best in life, which I once thought resided in the events that began far after the sun hit the switch on the sky. I’ve seen the car commercials. I know when people my age have the most fun, when it seems our biology lets loose its stores of energy, when the sun goes down and the streetlights go up.
The dancing starts when the floor goes dark. But I never liked dancing with pop culture. The conversation starts when the work is over, but I just wanted to finish my books. The people come out to play when they finally wake up, but…well, ok it took me as long to wake up as well. I only wanted to sleep away the passive mornings, when the rest of the city is still asleep or too tired to be exciting. There was essentially NO LIFE in the early hours of the day. There were only business suits relying on coffee in place of energy and the beginnings of scripted routines that I wanted no part of. I wanted liberation and action, bikes blasting through crowded trafficked streets choked with creeping cars, adventure in darkened alleys and hidden passageways, and I took it wherever I could. We stayed out late, whether in the streets or in coffee shops reading political communiques, sometimes writing them until the cup ran dry and the employees kicked us out. We resisted sleep and reluctantly woke up when we could no longer ignore the sun crashing into our studio apartment windows.
Then I had my son. And the unwavering force of human biology changed the game overnight. Gone were late nights on the town, replaced only with late nights trying to get August back to sleep, so I could do the same. Like the rudest of awakenings my entire scheduled flipped upside down and mornings became nights, nights became desperate attempts at sleep. Coffee became more valuable than gold. And before I knew it, I forgot what happened after 7pm. It took my biology quite some time to catch up, but slowly the forces of nature took effect and my mind responded to the new morning routines, essential to deal with my high-energy child raring to go as soon as his eyes opened wide from a massively full night of sleep. Things fell into place, but the energy and excitement of a hipster nightlife still remained within that unattainable realm that lay just past 7pm. When the daylight disappeared, so did my ability to see what happened in that darkened city.
Then I started running. And I turned the game on its head, where once mornings held only the struggle to get through the passivity until I could both create and comprehend the day, now I woke up with a renewed sense of purpose and preparation for, quite possibly, the most exciting part of my day. And I ran, sometimes far, sometimes fast.
Mornings became the equivalent of the hipster nightlife, until enough moments of superhuman effort coupled with stunning sunrises, air that went from chilled to soothing, and the ability to hit 8am with more energy than most conjure up with 6 cans of redbull at 1am…..everything changed. Nightlife became not only unappealing, but downright unmotivating. I lost the drive to search out the excitement in such an obviously passive effort. The whole charade is a delusion where overworked and emptied husks desperately reach into the dark, grasping for awkward moments of excitement that merely come and go with the effort. Theirs is never the guarantee we get from the morning routine of lungs and legs, sun and breath, power and strength.
The morning is more beautiful and more awe-inspiring than the city grid defined by dotted lines of streetlights ever was. The ability to run through dark into ever-increasing light at an equally ever-increasing pace dwarfs the chaotic action of clubs and streets shrouded in darkness.
You’ve got it all wrong. The night is empty, darkened to hide the saddened masses gasping for fulfillment, to hide their obvious shame and resentment. The morning is honesty, bringing light to our reddened faces, mouths gasping for the air that brings ultimate fulfillment in the completion of our physical task, of our ability to refine our bodies into machines built to always become better selves, to always surpass the person we once were. Every morning we find beauty and action unparalleled, unmatched, and in the shameless open….for no one to see.
For they sleep away the space where life begins.
9 miles w/ Michelle riding along side. Felt better and better and picked up the pace throughout. A solid run that built great confidence in my recovery. Looking better and better to get back into speedwork, possibly sooner than I thought.
Breakfast – Oatmeal (w/ peanut butter, almonds, raisins, flax seed, banana), coffee
Lunch – Stir fry
Dinner – Tofu scramble w/ black beans in a spinach wrap, water
Snacks – salt and pepper chips, water, coffee, banana, orange, soymilk, emergen-c
Refused – The shape of punk to come