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.