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Almost every book I have read on personal development suggests that one key method for massive personal success is to get up at stupid-o’clock in the morning, strap on your trainers and go out of the front door to greet the day with a run. The first thing I note about such books is that they are frequently written by Mid- to South-Californians and not the Welsh. I would challenge any Californian to get up in Brecon at 5AM in December, strap on their Magnum boots and go for a skiddy run-fall-snap.

The other thing I note is that early morning for those NOT self-employed, childless and of independent financial means is a time of stress, trying to get ready to comply with the quite reasonable expectations of their employers and children, in whatever order. Bearing in mind that the old 9-5 day became the 8-4 some time ago if you wanted a parking space, and for the same reason the day is quickly becoming a 7-3 if you don’t want to park half a mile from your workplace, a 6AM run would only last 5 minutes anyway.

Yes, I know there ARE people who love that early run but we are not all the same. I tried an early run twice and it was miserable, even in summer. For me. Mid-day, early evening, love it. 6.30AM – shove it.

Hyrum Smith asks, “What do you do for the magic 3 hours from 5AM to 8AM?” To be frank, I usually sleep for the first two.

Which brings me to another reason I hate early morning runs. It’s my wife. When I wake up, the wife does, too. If you’re as lucky as me, when you wake up together you have an opportunity to hold each other for a while before you get up. I am not willing to lose that for an exercise opportunity.

The funny thing was that because of all those books, I started to blame t’wife for my failure to exercise because I didn’t want to deprive her (us) of that cwtch*. I wasn’t running because of her needs. It was her fault I was fat because I don’t run in the dawn gloom.

Blaming other people for our failures to execute in some life areas is easy. It absolves us of responsibility for what we aren’t doing that we know we should be doing. But that is a slippery slope, because one thing all the PD writers say that I absolutely agree with is that We are responsible for our situation, even if that responsibility lies only in how we choose to respond to our situation.

In other words, I am able to choose whether t’wife or an early morning run is the more important thing I need to do (I should rephrase that…).

I am able to decide what job I seek, even if I can’t dictate what I am expected to do when I get that job. I can decide how I respond to an imposition, and do a good job even though I didn’t want that (part of the) job in the first place.

Therefore, let me state quite clearly – I CHOOSE not to exercise in the morning. Just as, at the moment, I am choosing not to exercise at all. Which is a choice I must choose to change, and quickly, because I can’t find a reason not to. Damn it.

Oddly, when I am away from home I routinely go for a half hour on a treadmill at 6AM. Maybe it IS her fault after all………

In life, we are responsible for our decisions. Let’s make good ones but not just because someone promotes something that sounds good – it might not suit our situation and even if it might, what we gain may not be worth what we lose. Like cuddling a warm bum on a winter’s morn.


*Look it up, it’s Welsh.