It all seemed easy in the beginning: sign up for masters’ swimming, pay for the yearly membership, and go to practice. Everything would be done for me–the workouts, the paces for the workouts, the total distance, everything. I’d do all of the strokes–fly, back, breast, and free, which will only make me a stronger swimmer for triathlon. The swim team I found meets three times a week at 5:30am, which didn’t seem too early until I realized I needed to set my alarm for around 4:30 in the morning.
I am not a morning person.
To wake up this early means I need to go to bed by 9:30pm, and I like to stay up until midnight. 9:30pm is also my 10 year old daughter’s bedtime because my family is a bunch of night owls.
I am not a morning person, but I paid to do this. Like everything else that’s difficult, it is worth it in the end. I have been waking up before 5am on most weekdays to either swim, bike, or run. Many of my workouts start and end in the dark, way before the sunrise. In autumn and winter, I run down daylight at noon, but in order to complete all of my workouts, I dive into the darkness.
By the time I exit the athletic center after a swim, it’s still dark while commuters speed to work and the trains rush by. A few lights are on in some of the houses I pass on my way home, and I wonder how many people wake up way before dawn or how many people are just returning from a night shift.
I am not a morning person, but I understand the allure of the stillness that exists in the hours before dawn, before most of the world around me is awake.