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Anyone who knows me will know that if I am not running with you I am probably not running in the morning at all. When I have a day off, I sleep later. When I rise in the morning I have rituals and they are often solitary and slow rituals. Roomates and family over my lifetime have described me as “best left alone upon waking.” To be polite one could say that I “am not really a morning person.”

But there is something beautiful about the morning- and even I can see that. Getting up early and hitting the street or the trails as the sun is coming up is particularly special. There is something magical about the rhythmic breathing and endorphins combined with a sunrise. Now I am less likely to do this regularly myself… but I completely get why so many people engage in an early morning run.

It sets the whole day up differently. It can change your attitude and outlook. It can liven up your mood. It can make you more optimistic to meet the day’s challenges. It has this effect that just seems to change a day- and that for the better. While I may struggle with mornings I know that a sizable group of you (my beloved readers) prefer it. I get it. The morning (and the morning run or walk) is magical.

Now lest you think I am buttering the bread of the morning crowd without any experience (or very limited experience) I am happy to report that I have in fact gone years (four years in one particular period of my life) starting my daily runs between the hours of 5AM and 6:30AM. It was a good way to start the day and I remember it very fondly. I would even go so far as to say that I might do it again in the future. I know what it is like to not hit snooze and to feel the weight of dragging myself out of bed rain or shine, on good days and bad days, all to run with the rising sun.

I am aware that some of you only run in the morning because that is the only time you can carve out to go running at all. We have these schedules and families and obligations which are all good and often necessary things. And I know that some of you end up looking forward to waking up in the morning to go move your body at the start of your day. I also know that some of you (more like me) who run or walk or lift in the morning still wish that it could be at a different time of day. But whether or not it feels natural I would like to remind all of us (and especially the night owls) that there is a light and point of view for your whole day that you will not see if you wait to run (or walk, or strength train, or jazzercise) until later in the day. I have grown to accept that this is beautiful. And while the same thing could be said about night running (that it offers a point of view you will not get running in the daylight) I do think that the morning is special.

So to all of you who are getting after it in the AM (whether by choice or by necessity) I salute you. You are setting yourself up for something that you will not regret. And just know, that sometimes despite my own nighttime proclivities I will even join you. Be well everybody.

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