It is generally agreed that people are either a morning person or a night owl.
I have always loved mornings. I love the way the sky turns from inky black to a deep translucent blue as the sun approaches the horizon. I love the way that the sky takes on a purple hue and clouds turn pink as the sun rises. I love the soft gentle light, casting long, optimistic rays of sunshine across the landscape. I love being a witness to morning routines in the countries I have lived in over the past few years.
It is particularly special here. There are long lines of monks in the mornings, collecting alms as the dawn breaks. Birds sing loudly in the garden to announce the new day. Children make their way to school with their green and white uniforms and adults head to their place of work with their aluminum stacking lunch boxes.
So I find it really unfair and cannot understand why I find it such a struggle to drag myself out of bed to enjoy mornings! I go to sleep early, but still cannot part company with my comfortable bed in the morning and put off getting up until I absolutely have to. I’m fine once I am up, but the act of opening my eyes, and actually getting out of bed, rather than pressing the snooze button on the alarm, usually defeats me until the last moment.
I wonder if the after effects of the heavy treatment contribute to this. I understand that it takes about a year, or at least as long as the treatment lasted, to re-build properly after the cancer triathlon. I have to remember that it is just under 6 months since I finished my triathlon so I guess that I should not be too hard on myself. Perhaps I should consider it a special skill that I am able to sleep for 10 hours or more some nights? I should also factor in the time that Tamoxifen keeps me awake in the night time hours, but I don’t think they add up to so many hours now.
Well, last night i went to bed with a resolution that I would not only get up early, but that I would head to the pool before breakfast! The reason for this? Firstly I enjoy my swim so much and Monday evening is Pilates evening. Therefore I felt it would be a nice way to be able to factor in a swim without having to wait until Tuesday. Secondly, Twang Arm has mounted a bit of an offensive over the past couple of weeks. I am not sure how or why, but it has been a bit more painful and stiff and I know that swimming is helping. Thirdly, at my Annual Check Dr W2 took great delight in telling me I had gained a kilo in weight despite my insistence at this being impossible due to my evening schedule of swimming or Pilates. So all in all, it seemed that the time is right to crank up the exercise machine, enter a stand off with Twang Arm – and head to the pool for a pre-breakfast swim.
So this morning, after a particularly sleepless night (no idea why) I forced myself out of bed when the alarm peeped at 6 am. The sky was a delicious pink and orange as I put on my swimsuit and the morning air misty and cool as we headed out to the pool. I was in the pool, alongside 2 serious swimmers doing serious lengths at 6.26 am! In the East, the sun sat heavy, large and red on the horizon as I started my gentle swim up and down the pool. Within a few minutes the other two swimmers had completed their lengths and I was on my own, with the company of birds, little frogs, crickets and palm trees as the sun climbed in the sky, getting briighter as it rose.
I had a glorious 30 minutes swimming 30 peaceful and healing lengths and was out of the pool, showered and back home having breakfast at the time I am usually serially pressing the snooze button on the alarm.
So it was a bit of an effort but well worth it. Let’s see if a couple of morning swims a week, in addition to the evening ones start to break Twang Arm’s spirit and help to stop the kilo gain. And I guess all in all, it was not bad for a morning owl!!