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I have just come back from a 3-months basic police training course and my,what a time I had. Apart from academics and musketry (firearm) training, I also needed to be competent in fitness in order to successfully complete the course. Now, I have a love and hate relationship with exercise. I would much rather discipline myself with food rather than hit the road so I knew going into the course that the fitness part would be a challenge for me. At the end of it all, I learnt so much about myself and other people and hope to share some of the lessons from my boot camp.
One of the things I quickly learnt was that although I had always told myself I was not a morning person, boot camp showed me I could be what I needed to be as the need demanded. Waking up at 03:00 or 03:30 in the hope of rushing for warm / hot water, my not-a-morning-person body quickly got accustomed whether the alarm was on or not. I needed to be ready for parade at 05:15 and in that time I had to have had a run, bathed, made sure my uniform was well ironed, boots polished and shining and cleaned my room (this is a whole specific process of shining floors and ironing the bed – specific process I say).
More often than not, we give names like ‘not a morning person’ to things that we do not like or prefer and not necessary things we are incapable of doing. By the 2nd month, waking up at 03:30 had become such a norm that calling myself a non-morning person just sounded like a cop-out. When I thought back to all those mornings in the past where I snoozed by alarm a million times instead of choosing to wake up to exercise or study and eventually the bed winning the fight, I realised how much I could have achieved.
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My morning runs at boot camp were at 4am. Salaminah Tshwane was my morning run accountability partner so I was grateful to have had someone to do it with. When I felt lazy she would urge me on and vice versa. I eventually got so used to waking up that early for a run I even went when she wasn’t around. Since my return I’ve adjusted my rising time slightly since I have no morning parade to attend and I have hot water 24/7 (one of the reason for early rising) but I still wake up early, earlier than I’ve done before. I have decided to adopt this lifestyle of waking up early to firstly start my day with the Lord and then proceed to do some exercise. So far I’m all smiles 😄.
So from now on I will be careful of things I say about myself especially things that have a negative connotation. If you’re like me and don’t consider yourself a morning person, wait until something pushes you to wake up early then you’ll see it was probably only a preference or an area needing some discipline. Give it a try. For me personally, it was laziness. If I needed to wake up at 6am, I’d set the alarm for 05:20 so that I could snooze 4 times before eventually grudgingly having to wake up. At the end of it all, I had wasted 40 minutes in which I could have done something productive or could have had 40 minutes extra proper sleep, so who was I really kidding? So although I generally feel I am more alert at night, at the college I noticed that I just had to adjust my bed time and then waking up early wasn’t always a situation of me popping out of the bed like toast, but it did become easier. So what can I suggest for someone who wishes to be a morning person?
— Sleep earlier.
— Avoid multiple alarm snoozing. Don’t snooze but if you must, try snooze only once.
— Just kick those blankets off and get out of bed.
— Do it everyday until it forms habit.
— lay out the activity you plan to do for that time the night before. If it’s exercise, lay the clothes out and ready. If it’s studying, have the books ready etc.
— If possible, ask an early riser to check on you now and then to make sure you’re up. You’d be surprised at how many people are up and about already when you are snoozing.