Thursday, February 12, 2009
When I lived in Hoboken and worked in downtown Manhatten, my roommate and I would rise early a few times a week and start our day at the Hudson Athletic Club. It’s the kind of place where they hand you a towel when you walk in and you can work out with a semi-obstructed view of the city. We'd move some weights around, get a steam and a shower and be on our way to work. That was one of my favorite parts about that time in my life.
Now that I have kids and dogs and live in a considerably less urban environment, it’s a little hard to rekindle that exact feeling. I’ve met a buddy to play racquetball before work, but that was over Christmas break when the wife and kids were starting their day on their own.
I’ve committed myself to getting up 20 minutes earlier and heading down to the basement for some calisthenics. I warm up with 5 minutes on the elliptical machine. Then I alternate pushups, sit-ups, medicine ball: wood chops, twists, step-ups and front raises with jump rope or jumping jacks. If I keep moving, it takes about 22 minutes. Or the length of one episode of Arrested Development, Get Smart, 30 Rock, or half an episode of Freaks & Geeks, Mad Men or The Wire.
This weekend I’m going to figure out how to fasten a pull-up bar to the joists in the ceiling and add that to the routine as well. I’ll probably draw the line there. As much as I dig the old school approach, pins and spring cables and kettle bells are probably a little too far.
I’ve been at it for a few days and my first impressions are: It beats an extra cup of coffee for starting the day with energy. I'd go so far as to call it invigorating. It helps to keep my morning shower brief. Being more awake helps prevent those lost moments. And it makes me look and feel a little extra pumped up during the day, which is never a bad thing. Also, when I’m half awake, my brain is less able to think of excuses for quitting early.