Early Bird

coffeeReaders, my recently completed clinical placement and now my class schedule have forced me to accept early mornings as reality for the immediate future. If I’m being honest, I’m more of a “go to bed at midnight, rise at ten” kind of guy; but there are some perks to being up with the sun. It has made it pretty easy to establish a couple daily habits that I’ve wanted to undertake for a while.

The first is a daily meditation practice, one of the first things I do once I have risen (after I feed the cats and brew the coffee, of course). At this point I’m only doing 5-10 minutes of sitting meditation, but hey, you’ve gotta start somewhere. The big thing is that I’ve managed to make this a consistent habit over the last six weeks, which is way better than I’ve done in the past. This practice has also given me a chance to try Wim Hoff’s Inner’s Fire breathing method, which has been an enlightening experience in breath control and mindfulness. (The “Ice Man”, as he’s known, has been getting a lot of media attention lately.) I’m also in the process of reading Mark Divine’s The Way of the Seal, which prompts the reader to engage in mental exercises at the end of each chapter. This morning meditation practice has made sure I get those done instead of just passively reading through the book.

The second habit, which immediately follows my sitting meditation, is 10-15 minutes of basic movement. I’ve mentioned before how moving more often throughout the day is important for our wellness (not just hitting it hard once a day in a training session), and establishing a practice of moving early in my day has been on my to-do list for too long. It’s really nothing fancy. I make sure I do a couple key things, like spending a few minutes in a squat, moving my spine, and reaching overhead. What has been really important, though, is that I now have a perfect window to consistently work on one of my (several) movement impairments. I currently lead these movement sessions by working on my hip internal rotation. It’s really lousy, but, thanks to actually consistently working on the range of motion, it’s starting to improve for the first time in my adult life.

I suppose I would consider myself fortunate, then, that my schedule has forced me to fight my (strong, strong) urge to sleep in. I’ve finally begun to establish a solid morning ritual (which successful people claim is pretty helpful), and it has let me start every day a little more mentally prepared to conquer those oft-cited challenges of daily life.

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