When calculating time, all minutes aren’t equal.
Approximately three months ago, I started taking a high-intensity interval group class called Burn, which is offered at a local CrossFit gym.
The class is at 5:45 am, and it’s forced me to uplevel my morning routine. My new timeline is calculated to the minute. I wake up at 5, with a goal to be out the door between 5:20–5:25 am. The drive is 10 minutes. I arrive with enough time to settle in, get my weights, and start to stretch as the coach reviews the daily workout.
I have sustained this 5 am wake-up routine for 12 straight weeks, Monday through Friday.
This is no small feat.
In the 9 years since I started my “fitness first” practice, at my best, I have been consistent with a 6 am wake-up. Sometimes 6:30 am.
That fell off with the start of the pandemic when my at-home workouts shifted me to a later wake up time.
So 12 weeks of waking up at 5 am is a big deal. I’m proud of this achievement.
This would typically be the point where I tell you all the lessons I learned about “how to become a ‘morning person’,” how much I’m getting done now, and all the early-morning virtue-signaling that tends to come with this type of feat.
This isn’t that type of essay.
I do love waking up and working out early, but I don’t consider myself to be a “morning person.”
My rhythm is a slow burn. I take a while to get going, but I last a long time.
What I want to share here is an example of how minutes aren’t equal.
This past Friday, the gym started a big renovation of the space. The renovations have forced a temporary restructuring of classes.
As a result, last week and this week, the Burn class has been combined with CrossFit.
The CrossFit class starts at 5:30 am, and that’s the time our combined class has been meeting.
The time difference between Burn and CrossFit is only 15 minutes.
In theory, that would mean I need to wake up 15 minutes earlier, do my same routine, and arrive on time.
Let’s pause here to note that 15 minutes earlier at this time of day is a big jump, at least for me.
I am not fast out of the starting blocks. Although what I lack in starting speed I make up for in endurance, but that’s for another time.
In practice, to arrive in time for a morning class that starts 15 minutes earlier, I must wake up 30 minutes earlier. And that’s a much bigger jump. Especially at this hour of the day.
This is morning math: 15 = 30.
All minutes are not created equal. Even minutes on a clock, the paragon of “linear time.”
Because “linear time” is still subject to our human rhythms.
My rhythms need more minutes at that time of day.
But this class fuels me and fills me. So I’m learning to wake up at 4:30. Because when something pulls you to it, you find a way to make it work.
There’s always time. You just need to know how to do the math.