I overslept that morning, just as I feared. 5:40 am is a tough number. Especially when the evening hours of peace, quiet and good TV keeps a gal up longer than it should. 

But I needed a change. 8 working hours in front of a computer screen leaves little time for exercise. Two growing girls and all the responsibility and fun that come with a small family, means evening hours are spent on homework and activities and catching up.

There was no time to exercise. Morning was it. 

I didn’t sleep well that night. Isn’t that how it always happens? Anytime I have to get up earlier than usual, leaves me feeling anxious. 

Midnight came, and my eyes were wide awake.

The clock ticked to 1:00, then 1:30, then 2:00. The last hour I recall was 3:00 am. Then, my eyes were awakened to the horrible, gut wrenching feeling we all know too well.

The clock read 6:18 am. I overslept.

My heart raced as I jumped out of bed. No need to change clothes, I was smart that night and slept in my work out gear. I threw on my shoes and bolted for the door. 

“Les, where are you going?” I heard my husband call out under the cozy, warm covers. “Your class started at 6. If you walk there, you’re going to miss it all.”

And I did. I walked from my home to the park where our morning boot camp was being held and made it just in time to do a few jumping jacks. 

I missed the entire class. I was embarrassed. 

Instead of attending class that day, since, you know, I missed it, I decided to walk around our local trail. People greeted me. Friendly people, who were genuinely happy to see another morning workout gal on their trail. They must have known I was new. Their smiles were bright and genuine. The sun was shining. The birds were chirping. The air was crisp. I felt peace. 

And I was hooked.

I walked home that day determined to wake early again the next day. Two alarms were set. This time, I didn’t oversleep. That was nearly 5 months ago. Now, I can officially call myself a morning workout girl.

I didn’t do this to lose weight or look better in a bathing suit next summer. (Although, those are perks.)  I did this, because I needed a change. I look at my two sweet girls and I want to be here for them. I want to see them graduate from college and start families of their own. I want to retire with my husband and travel to fascinating places throughout the world. I want to walk a flight of steps and not be winded. I want to be able to sit at my computer all day to get work done, and not feel guilty at night. I want to take care of the body I’ve been given. 

I finally am. 

I feel better. I look better. And you can, too. Carve out time in your day to get a bit of exercise. Find a workout partner to keep you accountable each day. Don’t make excuses. 

I promise it’s worth it. 

And if I see you on the trail in the early morning hours, or at the gym I finally attend (after paying for a membership for over a year without stepping a foot inside its doors) I will give you a bright, genuine, cheery smile; because early morning workout people are happy.

And it’s a lot more fun to live life with a smile and smaller fitting pants. 

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Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From Home.com. She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.