Eddy Gilmore: Rooster alarm clocks are all the rageAfter two years of working out of the old coal room in my basement as a telecommuter, and slowly becoming a troll with beady little eyes, I’ve finally partaken in the delights of exercise right at dawn or earlier.
It’s morning in Duluth again. After two years of working out of the old coal room in my basement as a telecommuter, and slowly becoming a troll with beady little eyes, I’ve finally partaken in the delights of exercise right at dawn or earlier. My senses have awakened much like a bear’s would if it stumbled into a field of blueberries in July after a long hibernation.
These early mornings are outstanding. For someone with small children, I can tell you the peace and quiet is thick like butter — and it melts all over the hotcake that is my coming day of stress and makes the whole thing seem downright tasty.
You know you need more exercise. And, if you’ve ever considered doing this in the early hours before work, now is the time to get in the habit of it, since it’s so easy to do with these early mornings we’re still having. After about two weeks, you’ll crave your private time to get the heart pumping bright and early with the birds and the worms.
It really is remarkable how far a bike can take you in a short period of time, and this is the year to bike Scenic 61, since almost every car bypasses it due to construction. Lester River Road is also a dandy, and Lakewalk is always an option before the busier times of the day as well.
Out on the western side of town, you can head out on an outstanding loop through forest interspersed with truly rural landscapes by taking the Alex Leveau Trail and looping back on the Munger Trail in Carlton.
Of course, there are other nearly limitless possibilities waiting to be found by an adventurer slicing through the wind under their own power.
I wake up with the first birds each morning now, without the aid of an alarm, while the sun is still stirring under its covers. Each sense awakens one by one and creates a stirring that prevents further sleeping. First, it’s the unique predawn light, and then the birds singing -- at which point your sense of touch is moved by the stirring of the refreshingly cool early morning air passing through the open windows.
While tasting these delights, and considering further lazing around, the chickens start squawking to be let out of their little henhouse, so I scramble out there like nobody’s business out of fear of waking the neighbors. Since I’m up, I may as well do something productive before my regular sedentary workday.
This has developed into a real hardwired habit just since my last column a month ago, so you can do it too, if I can. What a tonic this is to stress, and I’m so addicted to the variation of splitting the time up running and biking that I’m considering a triathlon.
It has been interesting to learn about, and from, the passionate and interesting triathlon subculture in town here as well. We really do live in a pretty fit city, and there are large numbers of people around here who can encourage you in your endeavor, no matter how modest or ambitious.
My motivation was that I’m a stress sponge, and I found I had a slightly elevated cholesterol level that took me by surprise. I’ve always been able to eat whatever I want and not worry about such things. Age catches up to all of us eventually, and it’s crucial that we not ignore these little warning signs we get on the journey of life before it becomes too hard to turn things around. Think about the Titanic steaming toward an iceberg. I guarantee that if you put this off today, it’ll be more difficult for you to deal with tomorrow.
I also used to get tremendously frustrated that my kids would wake up early, at around 6, and I finally realized that this is the best part of the day. I decided to first join them, and then beat them at their own game. I suppose this would be something that parents of most teenagers would want to cultivate, so why discourage it now?
I hope to see you out there tomorrow enjoying the lovely cool morning with the sights, sounds and smells you do not get at other times of the day. The days are getting shorter, so the time is now.
Monthly Budgeteer columnist Eddy Gilmore is a freelance writer, father of twins and husband of one. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.