I’ve always been an early riser. I’ll take a morning run over an evening run most days, as proven by this blog I wrote for Oiselle in 2017. But my mornings look drastically different now and I have to chuckle at my nonchalant mention of kids altering your routine as if they don’t come into the world giving the cutest middle finger to your schedule, saying “You’re on my time now”… Early isn’t a 6:15am alarm anymore, it’s a 5:15am alarm to sneak in miles before my human-alarm then goes off at any random time from 6-7am.
The Gift of Morning Miles
I’m so thankful for the chance to head out the door early, watch the sunrise, find rhythm in my breath and footsteps, and feel like myself before a full day of pouring love into someone else.
Heading into fall, there’s no bright light peaking through our window to nudge me out the door. I’m starting to wake up to darkness and reacquaint myself with the usual cold and misty Washington morning and coaxing myself out of bed is taking a little extra willpower.
I’ve slowly mastered the art of sneaking out of the house without waking my son who I’m convinced is on his own mission to wake up before me no matter how early I’ve set my alarm. My running clothes are laid out in advance, I fumble around in minimal light, and his noise machine is slightly cranked.
Before heading out the door I make some coffee and peanut butter toast, which is usually when it starts to feel like it pays off to get my day rolling early. A little solitude goes a long way lately so drinking coffee and eating breakfast uninterrupted feels like a special start to the day.
For most morning runs I’m on my own. Quietly logging the miles and letting my mind wander. I don’t mind solo miles since they give me an opportunity to center myself before a day of balancing work and chasing around a toddler. Plus running through a neighborhood that is slowly, collectively, waking up is strangely comforting. That isn’t to say I don’t leave for a run in the dark without a heightened sense of my surroundings and my head on a swivel. A couple of precautions I never go without are telling someone where I plan to run and when I plan to be back, along with wearing reflective gear to make sure I’m visible.
Every so often I get the special treat of running with friends and on those days the slog of getting out of my cozy bed is quickly forgotten. Spending time with people I love, while doing something I love, fills my cup more than ever before. We pass the time with funny stories from the week, family and life updates, and 90% nonsense.
By the time I make my final turn towards home, I’m eager to get inside and wrap my arms around my little one. His sleepy smile will never fail to crack my heart wide open, making me feel loved and seen, all while reminding me I have the greatest responsibility resting on my shoulders. In that moment it doesn’t feel daunting or overwhelming, instead, it feels like a gift.
We go from good morning snuggles to making breakfast with my inefficient but eager helper at my side. I sneak in one last kiss and hug before I pass him off to Grandma and head to a coffee shop to crank out some work of my own.
Truthfully, this is what happens on the mornings that go exactly according to plan. Not the extra early morns, or the sick mornings, or the mornings after a terrible night of sleep, or the mornings where it’s my husband’s chance to go to our local climbing gym and see his friends. There are plenty of those too. But on those dreamy mornings that do go exactly to plan, I’m so thankful for the chance to head out the door early, watch the sunrise, find rhythm in my breath and footsteps, and feel like myself before a full day of pouring love into someone else. I’ve been told you can’t pour from an empty cup, and these mornings to myself often prove it’s true.
I’m thankful for the chance to head out the door early,
watch the sunrise,
find rhythm in my breath and footsteps,
and feel like myself before a full day of pouring love into someone else.
I’ve been told you can’t pour from an empty cup,
and these mornings to myself often prove it’s true.
Photo credits // Jess Barnard // @jesssbarnard
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