On Goals On Hustle On Motivation

How I Forced Myself to Run in the Mornings?


Ever think “I want to wake up early and work out” but can’t seem to roll your @$$ out of bed?  I have, for YEARS in fact I wanted to ‘get fit’ and several years ago I FINALLY decided to dedicate myself to losing weight. Growing up I had a pretty poor relationship with food and when my mother passed I ended up using food as an escape which allowed me to balloon in size. For years I struggled, wanting to get healthy but never being able to get myself to actually dedicate the time and effort to do so. In 2012 I decided that I was going to take up boxing. After a trip to the Philippines I returned home and took my first class. My goal was to be able to get into the ring and try my hand at sparring, not die and potentially lose a few pounds. At the time I would say I was probably a flabby 215+lbs (I don’t actually know what my weight was at the time, I actively avoided checking — to the point that I didn’t even own a scale). I recall telling my coach that if I could reach 200lbs I’d be happy. 

I figured it would take time to reach either of those goals, but I was determined to try. I had taken karate for 12 years until I was around 18, afterwhich I had essentially stopped any sort of regular physical activity. I tried kickboxing for several months in between but gave up after an injury sidelined me. I could have returned but I didn’t, I found an excuse to stop going. 

The first class was embarrassing. Other than the steps to my condo (4) and the occasional drunkin’ walk home, I had basically been completely sedentary for the better part of a decade.

It was so bad that Coach just looked at me and offered another free trial class because I technically didn’t make it through the first one. 

During my free trial class I made it 15 minutes – the warm up – then vomited and spent the rest of the hour laying on the floor trying to catch my breath. It was so bad that Coach just looked at me and offered another free trial class because I technically didn’t make it through the first one. 

I remember still being out of breath when I got home, AN HOUR LATER.  

The next ‘first’ trial class I didn’t do as poorly. I at least made it through the actual hour class, although I still vomited. In fact vomiting would be a common occurrence for the first 5 classes. (note: Eating a burger and fries from CraftBurger for lunch is not a good meal prior to working out, if you weren’t aware– because I wasn’t) 

During these classes we did quite a bit of cardio and we learned the basics on how to box. When I was finally able to make it through a class without vomiting, Coach threw me into the ring. 

ANOTHER SIDENOTE: A boxing ring looks massive from the outside, and sort of feels huge while you’re in it, until another person steps in and all of sudden it’s tiny.  

I wasn’t sure I was ready, but I wanted to and so I sparred with someone who was a vet in the gym and it didn’t go well. I was essentially a slow moving punching bag. I don’t think I landed a single punch but I DEFINITELY did take quite a few. Most to the forehead. Despite the ass kicking I received, I actually enjoyed being in the ring. It was a lot of fun, other than the pain of course. It didn’t last long but it was enough to give me a taste of what being inside a boxing ring could be and I loved it. That night I came home and stared at myself in the mirror. With my forehead red and swollen, my nose sore, and a slight black eye I asked out loud, “Do you really want to do this?”  my answer was yes, I did but I knew that If I was going to keep going, I needed to do better. Being in the ring was fun, but getting beaten up wasn’t and that was when I began to take it seriously. I started to eat better before classes and I decided that I was going to start running in the mornings, to help get my endurance up and be able to last longer in the ring, but it wasn’t easy. 

I’m not a morning person. Never have been so the thought of waking up at 545am to go for a run wasn’t going to be easy, so how did I do it? Well first, I set my alarm and then I trained myself just to sit up. 

That’s it.

When that alarm went off, I didn’t think of the run, or what was next. My ONLY focus was to sit up on the side of my bed. Once I was able to do that, I was able to convince myself to just stand up, then go to the bathroom, then put some clothes on. Before I knew it, I was out the door. Ultimately I was able to instinctively just throw the covers off and sit up on the side of my bed when I heard the alarm. 

This was my alarm btw:

I found that the whole process of going for a run first thing in the morning was too overwhelming to get over. The thought made me want to stay in bed, the little voice in my head that said “you can’t do that, it’s too hard” would win. I would listen to it because the idea of going for a run at the crack of dawn included a massive amount of effort which, while snuggled in bed, seemed damn near impossible. 

What wasn’t impossible was sitting up. 

Here here are my 4 tips to help you get up in the morning to hit the gym:

  1. Little bites. Don’t think of it as getting up to work out. Focus on the steps, once you’re out of bed, you’re actually not as tired as you were when you were in bed. Take little bites. Start with sitting up on the edge of your bed and go from there. 
  2. Set yourself up for success. Sleeping at 2am won’t help you get up at 5am for your work out, just like a loaded burger and french fries didn’t set me up to be successful. 
  3. Give it a proper go. Don’t try twice and give up. Give yourself a goal of going every day for 3 weeks, its easier to digest than setting yourself up for a goal of lose 50lbs. Saying you’ll go to the gym every day for an hour for 3 weeks sounds doable. 
  4. Be tough on yourself, but be reasonable too. Missing a day will mean you have to work harder, that’s fine but being so tough that you don’t think you can do it is counter productive. Focus on believing you CAN do it, rather than saying you can’t. 

Keep at it. My goal at the beginning was to hopefully lose 15lbs and step foot in a ring once. Within a year I had lost 50lbs and ultimately competed in an amateur fight. 

– Kenners!

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