Meditations on 5:30am


As a triathlete, you kind of have to get used to early mornings. Most races will start pretty early, and you’ll probably find you have to get up at ridiculously early times to get to the races on time (but, like, how do you get a decent night’s sleep when you have to get up at 2am for a race?). It’s also generally a good idea to try and fit in your longer training sessions early in the day, so you get it out of the way and still have time for the other people/things in your life.

On top of that, as a triathlon coach, I am still getting used to the fact that people mostly want to be coached either very early in the morning or later in the evening.   Getting up at 4-4:30am 3 days a week so I can do my job still takes a lot out of me, especially when you add 20 minutes up to 1.5 hours travel time each way to coach these sessions.  But, it’s still my favorite time of the day.

I know it’s not just a triathlon thing, I know lots of people like to get up early to catch the good waves, the fresh powder, the greens that have not been trampled.  But, here are some of my observations and meditations:

  • I LOVE riding around the streets of a big sprawling city like London or Chicago or Beijing when they are empty and you feel like you own the place or you are the star of post-apocalyptic movie (without the zombies or robots)
  • Foxes live in a lot of the parks in London, and the only time you will see them is in the very early hours of the morning , and they are surprisingly shy and tame-looking
  • The sight of rabbits darting into the hedges, scurrying across a field, or just plain running away as you approach is probably THE most enchanting sight I have ever seen
  • Geese and swans, however, can be vicious bastards if disturbed in the middle of their early morning rituals
  • There are still a surprising number of electric milk floats working all over London
  • People who get up and go to work in the early hours of the morning tend to be the most chilled out and approachable people, everywhere I have ever been (US, Europe and Asia)
  • Getting up early in the winter time, on a dark and cold morning, is especially awesome, because even fewer people do it, and you feel like you belong to a very elite club

  • If you are not a fan of sun-rises, it’s probably because you haven’t experienced enough of them, so force yourself to get up and out that early some time and you might just surprise yourself with how much you enjoy it
  • I like to be reminded that once I was the sort of person who stayed up until 5:30am and then came home from fantastic nights out, and now I am seeing it from a different side

I guess that’s the part I like the best about 5:30am: the chance to see things from a very different perspective, maybe surprise yourself, maybe experience something really unique. While you avoid the broken glass and drunk drivers.

Please feel free to add your comments and meditations below.

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