In theory, I’ve always wanted to be a morning person—somebody who works out, preps a healthy breakfast, meditates, and clears her inbox before even stepping foot in the office. But in practice, I’ve always had a phobia of setting an alarm much earlier than 7 a.m.
To make early rising a habit, I reached out to our other hike leaders, Stephen and David Flynn, for some help. They were literally doing handstands by the time the group made its way up the mountain, so I figured they must have some tips. It turns out, the duo has also made a routine out of rising and moving with the sun, and they wake up at the crack of dawn every day to swim in the cold Irish sea, oftentimes with hordes of friends.
Their advice was simple: Go to bed early and keep yourself accountable. “We have found that making arrangements with friends always helps. Often there would be no way we would get up at 4:30 a.m. or 5 a.m. on a cold Irish winter morning to train before swimming in the sea, but if we arranged to meet someone to train with, it makes it a lot easier,” Stephen tells me. “And as the famous quote goes, ‘Early to bed, early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy, and wise.’ Wealth can mean many things, but we find the real wealth of getting up early is the sense of peace and tranquillity of the quiet hours of the morning. They can help start the day off in a beautiful way!”
Though I don’t have a paved trail or open sea next to my downtown Manhattan apartment, I’m excited to put their tips into practice by making a routine of walking outside for some sun first thing in the morning and recruiting others to join me whenever possible. It’s no Arizona desert, but the West Side Highway can be pretty invigorating in itself.