The notion of waking up before the sunrises is clockwork for some and a terrifying prospect for others. I used to always wonder why the seemingly arbitrary wake-up-at-4am trope featured over and over again in the context of the now lamented and ridiculed format of “daily routines of the successful”. Having now woken up for the the better part of a couple of months, I get it.

My pre-dawn mornings have become sacrosanct. The immediate world is on the same wavelength: those asleep are dreaming and those awake share in the beauty of quiet bliss. There is no rush because the world is not yet up, there are at least a couple of hours where we take ourselves off life’s conveyor belt taking us from one appointment to another.

At first, I was dumbstruck with what to actually do in the time. I could do anything, and as a result I did nothing. It was a classic example of the paradox of choice. It got me thinking of things that I want to do regularly, but hadn’t been able to find the time for it because of life. Eventually I landed on exercising, more specifically running. It was something I had been doing but this new time I had in the mornings really allowed me to take it seriously.

I found that if I woke up at 4am, I would have enough time to do everything right. This included hydrating beforehand, grabbing a quick bite, rolling into a 15 minute warm up, the 1 hour or so run itself, and then a proper cooldown routine. These are the things I would sacrifice due to time constraints, unsurprisingly leading to a high rate of niggles and injuries.

The value I get from my mornings are worth significantly more than the few hours of evening that I sacrifice to ensure I get a sufficient amount of sleep. The calculus of continuing with this is made easy.

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