I too have a serious problem with mornings. Not because I like sleeping -which I do, who doesn’t?- but because it is a problem I carry over from the night before. Let me explain. It takes time for me to fall asleep. During these shuffling minutes, my brain decides to go on berserker mode, as if trying to drain whatever surplus of energy it still has left from the day. So every task I have, goal I have set, life altering decision I have to take (or not), existential ponder or -on the bad nights- paranoid terror seems to creep out of the depths of my subconscious and manifest itself in vivid, usually pictorial, quasi-hallucinations that drag me through the dreamy mud until my wife smacks me with a pillow and tells me to “stop moving and go to sleep!”. She really gets me. Eventually I will fall asleep, but even during dreamless nights the foreplay to my sleeping hours will leak into the morning.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love mornings. Pulling the blackout screens up, and finding myself face to face with a beckoning mountain is a great way to start my day. Especially when that mountain is being splashed with a few rays of soft morning sun, is home to an over 2,000 year old Laietan settlement and hides many great bike trails (definitely more on this in future posts). It’s as if sunrise itself opens the gates to an overflowing sea of possibilities. Glorious. Yet, it is that same glory that troubles the very fibres of my soul. Juxtaposed with the previous moments of my waking life it is only cause for anxiety. “What do I do? Where do I start? What if I can’t make it? I will never make it. Why am I even here in the first place? What reason could there possibly be for me to presence such enormous beauty? What is this all about anyway?” Many, much smarter people have lived their lives in search of the answers to some of those questions, and many, much more productive people have been faced with some of those too. So, by no means am I here to pretend I know the answer any of them.
Still, as the steam from my hot cup of coffee curls up and fades into the air I remember that life is but an instant. So all I can do is embrace the present and make the most of it. And, usually, in those early mornings while I’m staring into the mysteries of the mountain the most present matter is drinking my coffee and rearranging my chamois. Next in line is my morning ride, and the rest will fall into place. So if you’re not a morning person, get a bicycle. Ideally, you’ll learn that mornings are the best time to talk to the mountain, but at the very least you’ll learn what a chamois is and why you must rearrange it.