By: Lauren Anderson
Okay… I don’t want to freak anybody out, but did you know that a bunch of stuff happens before noon on Saturday? Yeah. I KNOW. My mind is blown also.
I’m kidding of course, but still. As a card-carrying “Night Owl” and also someone who also works nights– I don’t see a lot of early mornings. I know. I can feel a lot of you rolling your eyes at me. But it’s just that way. It’s always been that way. Even before I had a job to justify it. Even when I was little, and my schedule was not set by me. I liked to stay up, and sleep in, and NEVER EVER NAP. (Sorry Mom.)
Ask any of my friends, and they’ll tell you… one of my hidden talents is getting people to stay up WAY past their bedtime. I don’t mean to, but I can’t help it! It’s a gift?
And when it is finally time to snuggle in, I fight sleep like Rocky fights Apollo Creed. It’s a never-ending battle that could easily span 2 movies (if not 4), and it’s always a debate who wins.
But the older I get, the more I’m trying to dip my toes into the sunshine. I try to go to bed a little earlier than 3 am. I try to wake up before 9. I try. I TRY.
Nowadays I’m even trying the whole, “Bed by 1:00am, awake by 8:00am thing” cause I’ve found I really enjoy writing in the mornings lately … I’ll keep you posted if it keeps up.
But Saturdays have always been an unabashed sleep-in day. Even more so than Sunday (Hello Brunch!) I always let it ride– and never set an alarm if I can help it.
I sleeps until I can’t sleeps no more. And when my body has seen fit to wake me– I LOUNGE.
And I always justified “taking it easy” on Saturdays because for as long as I can remember, I’ve had two shows to do later that night. So I stay quiet and rest my voice, watch tv, read a book, make a luxurious breakfast, and take a long shower. And then go do approximately 6 hours of live comedy for the masses. And that’s my Saturday. Not a bad way to spend it.
But during the holiday season, our show schedule ramps up into overdrive. We have shows all week plus 2 shows Friday, 2 shows Saturday back to back. And it’s super intense, but also super fun. So rest really becomes paramount– because funny is best when it’s fresh– and I need sleep to keep me in the zone.
But I also need exercise. Because sketch comedy also takes a lot of energy. Both of the mind and the body. So what’s a gal to do?
Cut to last Friday. I get a text from Coach Jenn, and my Endurance buddy Maureen. Two great friends that have also made my experience at Solcana exponentially better, and people have been featured in this blog before.
They tell me they’re coming to see my show that night! I am so excited! It’s strange to see them outside of Solcana, actually dressed up in clothes that don’t feature Lycra as the main material. Afterwards we meet up to hug and chat, and after their lovely compliments, Maureen mentions she’s going to the 10:00 am Solcana class The next day. On Saturday.
I have heard raves about the 9:00 am class. This class gets booked up fast, and is reserved for people who identify as women, trans, and femme. I’ve wanted to try that class for awhile, but the time slot always deterred me. But it never occurred to me that there are later morning classes offered on Saturdays as well.
This titillates me. And strange enough, I say, “Are there still spots open?”
And she goes, “Yes! There’s 3 spots left! You should come!”
And maybe it’s because I love Maureen, or maybe it’s because I’ve been wanting to ramp up the amount of times I go to the gym (I’m working up to average 3-4. Right now I hover between 1-2), or maybe it was the fullish moon, but I said yes. I said YES.
Well… that’s not entirely true. I said, “Can you get breakfast afterwards?” And then Maureen said Yes, and thennnnn I said yes. But the point is— I agreed.
I made a commitment. And I honor my commitments. Even if they happen before noon on Saturday.
And just like that, Destiny was written.
Cut to later on that night. It’s 12:30 am, and I’m just getting home from work. The shows tuckered me out, but my mind is still racing. Alive and moving fast. That’s the rub of doing the work that I do. Even if my body is tired, it still takes awhile to wind down the brain after the proverbial curtain drops.
I make an effort to go to bed. But it’s now 1:30 am, and I am no where towards sleep town. So I get up and take a magnesium bath and read. That does the trick. But now I’m wet, and it’s 2:30 am.
The next morning my alarm goes off at 8:30am, and I hit the snooze. Who am I kidding? I hit snooze like, 4 times. As I hit snooze, it occurs to me that I could just text Maureen and bail. But I made a commitment dammit! Destiny has been writ! So I hit snooze again.
Then another alarm goes off at 9:05.
(Yes, I’m that annoying person that sets multiple alarms AND snoozes. When and if I ever go to bed, I’m a surprisingly deep sleeper.)
Thoughts of my warm covers and “Why the F did I agree to this?” cloud my brain as I pull on my Fabletics and my coat. A quick sip of coffee and I’m out the door.
The morning is gloomy and gray, and oh-so-quiet. And then I open the doors to Solcana. First of all, it’s packed! There is a palpable energy in the room. The music is bumping and as the 9 o’clock class finishes up their Met Con, I feel infused with the vitality of the room.
Maureen enters and greets me with a warm smile and a hug. She, being used to this time of day, is the jolt of reassurance I’ve done the right thing. I look at her and I say, “I can’t believe I’m here.” And then Maureen drops some Saturday morning science on me.
She goes, “You know what? We ARE here. And no matter what happens in class today, being here and showing up is better than not being here and not showing up. So we’ve already won.”
I was like, “Hell yeah.”
And she goes on. “We’re just gonna do what we can for as long as we can, and that is enough.”
And I was like “HELL YEAH!” Maureen has this knack for saying just the right thing at just the right time. And I put my shoes on and we got to it.
It was a packed class, with decidedly different energy than other times of day. I’ve worked out mostly in the afternoon, and then for the summer at night in Endurance class, but Saturday morning? That’s a whole different ball game. That’s a choice. And it turned out to be a glorious one.
We had the pleasure of being coached by Marijke. I have worked out with her in other classes, but I had yet to be coached by her. It was wonderful. She was fun, efficient, enthusiastic, and kept the class moving along at a great pace. It was my first class back to full CrossFit since I got tendonitis in my wrist, (after about 5 months! Jeez…) So she gave me the modifications I needed before the class even started.
It didn’t take long for me to turn my trepidation at the day, and the hour, into the right amount of pluck to get me through the workout. And let me just say, it felt really good to lift some weights. I didn’t realize how much I missed it. Bonus: we got to do back squats and bench press (two of my faves) and I was also pretty happy about that.
I was surprised, but I had so much energy. And the more I lifted weights, I could feel my sleepy mood change into dare I say it… Joy?
Could this be? Could I be experiencing a pocket of Joy…in the morning? On a weekend? Despite feeling like the world is collapsing into hellfire? What’s happening?!?!?! And that ability to feel joy was replenishing my hope. That I could push on, fight harder, and keep resisting.
I pause for a moment, and I say to myself, “There is still good in the world. There is still joy. You are not helpless— it can start with you. Right here, right now.”
Cheesy I know. But I couldn’t help myself. You can blame the morning for the uh, “sunny” feelings.
We finish lifting and Maureen makes a breakthrough with her form, and before we know it, it’s time for the Met Con. (That’s short for Metabolic Conditioning… you know, the exercise-y part).
And here’s where another fun discovery was made. So in a regular CrossFit class the average Met Con is about 6-20 minutes tops. But on average it’s more likely 12-15 minutes. All summer long, I have been doing Endurance Class, and those usually feature a 30-45 minute Met Con.
Saturday’s Met Con was a partner workout that lasted 12 minutes. Still intense, but I was shocked at how fast it flew by. I swear I could’ve done 15 more minutes if I had to. And it just made me laugh.
It’s that weird recognition of discovering something new about yourself. In that moment I was like, “Wait, did I just spend the summer conditioning myself to endure and it worked?!” And, “Did I just totally shift my mindset about exercise?” Or even, “Have I become a more patient and more forgiving athlete?” And the answer is a resounding–
HELL TO THE YES.
Instead of just trying to “get through it” like I used to do, Endurance taught me to try to “be in it fully”. And in doing so, I think I accidentally taught myself sustain in a whole new way.
Either that, or I am a Time Lord now.
* * *
At breakfast, Maureen said, “The real test if Saturday mornings are sustainable for you is how you feel later on tonight. If you get sleepy, or run out of energy, etc.”
I’m happy to report, that was NOT the case at all. In fact, I felt like I had MORE energy. In my mind that’s a total game changer. My brain was alert, and my body fully engaged. I even think I was less sore, because doing the shows forced me to keep moving after I worked out.
* * *
So Saturday Morning, I think I’m falling for you. And there’s a good chance you’ll be seeing a little bit more of me in the future. You may have turned me into a Day Walker after all.
And wouldn’t you know it, right as we were putting our equipment away at the end of class, I swear the sun came out from behind the clouds and bathed the gym in light-drenched divinity.
And I was like, “All right Saturday Morning, now you’re just showing off.”