With the expositional slice of my manifesto already written, it is time to advance to the nuts-and-bolts of what this transformation will look like. I have no problem with depriving myself of vices. I haven’t eaten meat for nearly ten years, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I know how not to do things when I put my mind to it. My problem is doing certain things, and doing them regularly. And the certain things I mind doing the most are exercise and meditation.
I love to sleep. If left to my own devices I wouldn’t crawl out of bed till around eleven O’clock in the morning. The idea of waking up before the sun has had a chance to even brush her teeth seems unforgivable. I know that exercise and meditation are pivotal to my enduring happiness, but still the lethargy takes over and I hit the snooze button.
This indolence must end, and establishing a sunup routine is the first step toward my new lifestyle. I am not sure if a structured schedule makes for good reading, but I am not entirely documenting this process for the sake of you reader. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have always felt validated my documenting my life through text, and if I sit and methodically write out what I need to do, and when I need to do it, then hopefully it will get done. I hope that documenting my routine will make it seem more real to me. The ultimate goal is to make these acts habitual and not cumbersome.
Let’s get to business: I will need to wake up every morning at five-thirty, if I am to get everything done. Ideally, I should wake up a bit earlier, but I cannot even fathom what waking up at five would look like, and I don’t want to hate this new regiment before it has even started. Five-thirty is early enough for me.
Wake up at 5:30 and prepare a cup of tea with honey. I will look into finding local tea and honey, which I am hoping will not be too difficult. I have always wanted to drink more tea, not because of the taste or caffeine, but because of the Zen tea drinking ceremonies. I think the cup of tea will be a good starting mediation to ground myself in the present and awaken me from my groggy state. I also want to eat some dates, another local energy source before I get started. (Any other suggestions on what to eat at this stage are welcome.) Then I am off to the elliptical machine for 10-15 minutes. I will need to get my blood pumping, by drowning out my memories of the warm bed I left behind with some high-energy music on my iPod. I am very much looking forward to this part of the routine.
After the machine, I want to habitualize a push-up and sit-up routine. Three sets of ten reps of each. At this point I should be half way through my hour. I want to find a few Pilates exercises that I can master for the 15-minute block. This will take some tweaking until I can find a nice set of exercises that fit into the time slot. I may have to stretch the entire routine by 15 minutes to fit it all in. I hope not, but we will see.
I will close with 10-15 minutes of Zazen. Then off to make breakfast for the family, take a shower, and out the door to work by 6:45. Sounds like a lot, but I think it will be doable.
5:30-5:45 Elliptical machine
5:45-5:55 Push-up and Sit-ups
6:30-6:45 Shower, breakfast, work.
I will most likely have to get up about ten minutes earlier, but I will start with this routine till I see how it works. This is step one; wish me luck!