I wake every day between 5-5:15AM. It's my grounding time, before my wife and son wake.
I usually alternate between exercising and meditating during that time, depending on the day.
In a past life, I used to get home on weekends at 5AM, after being out at a club, listening to house music. This was when I was drinking too, so I'd usually still be pretty buzzed.
I'm reminded of this when I walk our dog in the early morning hours. I'll sometimes encounter people stumbling home, having a few come-down beers on the pier or smoking some weed to wind the previous evening down.
Seeing this makes me feel grateful for the changes and shifts in my life that allow me to start the new day, rather than wind down the night before, at 5am 🙏
...things are going smoothly, you experience a power drop with 666 meters to go.
Let me explain.
I'm a cyclist and I train on Zwift. It's a virtual reality cycling app. You can race with others on it.
This morning I decided to do a beginner's race. Although it's early in the training season, the timing felt right to test myself.
I had ample time to warm-up. I got off to a pretty decent start and my breathing felt regulated.
I was set to finish in the top third of riders. That's better than usual for me.
I was pushing hard with 1500 meters to go, then a little harder with 1000 remaining.
I was feeling good, accomplished and in sync.
Then my avatar's power reading dropped to 0 with 666 meters to go. I was pedaling but my avatar wasn't.
Sh*t, power drop...
The Bluetooth connection between my laptop and trainer failed. I thought I had finally fixed the problem earlier this week, after months of troubleshooting.
I guess I hadn't fully. As a result, other riders who had been far behind me zipped past my immobile avatar.
Rather than shattering my expectations I shifted them. Sh*t happens, I reminded myself.
I exited the race, repaired the connection and rode for another 20 minutes. I felt happy I completed my longest indoor ride of the young season, while also making space for the frustrating I experienced from not finishing the race.
I've had better days than today. After experiencing some initial anxiety about having to take a day off from work to watch our son for the day, I settled into a state of looking forward to it.
I anticipated a fun day with him. Then I started thinking about all the household stuff I could use the day to catch-up on too.
Splitting my attention this way got the morning off to a rocky start. My son and I ended up yelling at each other quite a bit.
Since he's 4.5, it's my responsibility to regulate difficult emotions for both of us at times like this. I didn't do that very skillfully this morning.
Getting out of the apartment and connecting with the world around us helped. We pretty much recovered.
Yet I was feeling tense, due to perceived time pressure and scarcity. My patience level was much lower than I would have liked it to be.
But we managed to have a nice afternoon at the Brooklyn Museum together. We bonded during the nasiin bey (a/k/a Mos Def): Negus installation. He seemed to enjoy all 30 mins of it as much as I did 🙂
Yet my impatience and stress still lingered. The little small things that didn't fall the way I'd prefer them to during the day culminated in my partner having to stay late at work. This resulted in me having to miss a much anticipated and planned for yoga class.
A brief cycling workout helped a bit. So did writing this entry.
It's helpful for me to remember the impermanent nature of all phenomena on days like this. I feel grateful for this belief.