Posted by: lauraldawn | August 14, 2009

5 am

Most mornings I am at the gym a little before 5 am.
It baffles me when people are amazed by that. When the conversation comes up I try to be nonchalant and brush it off. The truth is, I love 5 am.
5am is my time.
By 5am I have had my coffee and I am ready to throw myself into a workout. Sometimes I meet with my trainer. The man is dedicated. He is as committed to my mornings as I am. He brings his coffee and as the caffeine hits him he pushes me to do stuff I have a hard time doing. And he listens when I say I can’t. But I do. Always I do.
And then there are the days I work out alone. Always I hear the “I can”ts” – and want to quit.
But I don’t.
I love 5 am too much.
It’s not about the gym, though I’m discovering I have fallen in love with the place. It’s not about my body. I will never have the thin limbs of a model or the grace of a dancer.
5 am is about me.
It’s about power. It’s about learning the difficult message that life comes one moment at a time, one rep at a time. One skipping rope jump at a time. One breath at a time.
5 am is not about becoming someone I am not.
Judy Garland once said “be a first rate version of who you are rather than a second rate version of someone else.”
That is what 5am is about.
I would love a six pack. Hell, I would love one body part I could look at think “my god I have sexy (fill in the blank)”. I don’t. But what I have is me. I am, and will always be, that short, chubby white girl. And that’s who I have top be. Instead of trying to be someone else.
5 am is the time when the people at the gym are there for themselves. As gregarious as I am in my daily life, at the gym I am alooof. I know the other morning people by appearance only. The occassional hi and what their workout routines are. I revel in the fact that I don’t have to be social. That they don’t know me.
5 am. I’m learning what I am all about.
I’m learning that I have an incredible strength both inwardly and outwardly. I’m learning that this body I have hated since I can remember is something I need to cherish. I’m learning that the more I ask of myself the more I can give.
I’m disappointed because I wanted to be the person who was a before and after picture. I feel like I’ve let my trainer down a bit.
But I haven’t let me down.
In my failure there has been success.
I walk taller and prouder. I have discovered that I really love what I can do. I have seen that when I refuse to give up and when I tell myself that I will like myself it’s beginning to come true.
And the more I like myself the more I like the people around me. I cherish some of the relationships in my life: my kids, my husband, my sister, my parents. Those people are a given. But it’s the others I cherish too – the colleague (and friend) who sees in me the stuff I can’t see in myself. The friend who checks in with me just cause she knows life is tough for everyone. The confident who listens. Without judgement. And helps me laugh without abandon.
I feel truly happy for other’s successes because every morning I celebrate my own.
The people who tell me I’m great.
And the not-so-great people? Instead of being angry and hurt I’m learning from them. It amazes me how when you start loving yourself you don’t accept the anger, the bitterness, the hurt of others. You just get through it, one breath, one step,one jump,one rep at a time.
And sometimes the stuff that seems so difficult seems less so when you step back and instead of looking at the whole situation you break it down and solve the problem bit by bit.
5 am
No. It’s not a pretty time for me. I don’t wear make up or do my hair and I wear (gasp) spandex.
And that is how I embrace the day.
Sometimes I’m on the elliptical rocking out to my favourite music. Sometimes I’m struggling with weights. Sometimes I am powering through push ups.
It’s about me. And I love it.





  1. Good for you. I prefer mornings as well, although it’s more about not having anyone around and being free to get things done quickly.

  2. Wow! I have to ask, what time do you go to bed and and wake up at?

    Good for you! That is what I have to say!

    You are trying so hard and doing something so good for yourself. Regardless of the results, you are doing amazing!!! Sometimes it’s process not product that matters, remember that.

  3. LD – you are an inspiration. I truly mean that. Amazing post. You are working so hard and you will reap the rewards – whatever they may be – only good will come out of all your efforts. It looks like it already is.

  4. You are looking awesome. I think I’ve told you a couple of times in the last few weeks (and no, I’m not hitting on you – tee hee!).

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