Sure I was tired. I was averaging about six hours of sleep per night, staying up late most evenings to make myself available to my son, should he need my help with his homework assignments. I still got up early enough to see the crack of dawn, as I worked my abs., got my son’s and my lunches ready, and the laundry started, and hung up on the line, before hopping onto my motorcycle to join the morning commute.
I hadn’t gone on a jog with Lucky since Sunday morning. Each morning since then had beckoned me out, but I just couldn’t drag myself out of bed, … until today. The air was fresh, the streetlights still on, but the skies were just beginning to show hints of light to the east. Lucky seemed to be genuinely surprised that I had laced on my running shoes, and thrown on my sweatshirt. Dogs are a lot of fun, folks. They’re always up for food, or a good time. For Lucky, a good time is anytime he can go outside for a run or a walk.
I had gotten cleaned up, put the laundry into the washing machine, and fed the cats when Lucky and I headed out the door. Lucky still gently tried to set the pace. My joints were still stiff from the cumulative effect of the lack of sleep I was putting myself through over the past couple of weeks (staying up late to help my son with his college prep homework, getting up early to take care of business before motoring off to work, …). Lucky seemed a bit surprised that the dogs who normally populate our jogging route weren’t behind their fences barking at us. I guess they sleep in, during the week.
The sky was beginning to brighten up enough for the street lights to click off, by the time we turned around to head back home. Lucky continued to set the pace, as we pulled up to the driveway. After we stretched for a bit, outdoors, my son let us into the front door, and we all proceeded to get ready for our days. The positive effects of the run lasted for hours into my day. As much as I enjoy commuting by motorcycle, this experience was certainly enhanced by my jog, today.
I know that I have to get more sleep during the week. I know that one weekend punctuated by lots of sleep and exercise won’t be enough to put me back on track. My sleep-deprived state didn’t happen overnight, and it won’t go away in one weekend. It’s not always possible for most of us to get a decent evening’s sleep. We all have commitments with regard to work, family, school, etc. Getting some of your morning’s routine done during the evening, before you turn in for the night, will certainly buy you a lot of time in the morning. Going out one’s way to eat sensibly (lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, hydration by way of fresh water, eschewing fast food and sodas, etc.) certainly helps the body to deal with sleep deprivation in a more efficient manner. Always go out of your way to warm up before you exercise, and listen to your body. If your joints, muscles, or heel start to hurt, back off or your exercise session. always remember that exercise is about your health, not your ego. You can’t, and shouldn’t try to exercise as hard as you did when you were younger, less sleep-deprived, and with fewer responsibilities. Do get out there, though. Treat yourself before you walk out of your door to start your day. Get out there.