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My Gift of Wakefulness

My Gift of Wakefulness


It’s three in the morning – the alarm is due to ring in an hour and a quarter but my body clock is running ahead of time. Over the past three weeks I consistently waken well before I need to and can’t get back to sleep. What to do with this gift of wakefulness? Yesterday I drove to a local beach with the intention of running for an hour before going to my regular gym training session. I’d never been to this beach in the dark. It was high tide and the sea lapped at the base of the grassy bank that edged it. The footpath was irregular and the light not good enough to allow me to feel sure-footed and safe. I drove instead to the gym and spent forty minutes in the car park with my laptop watching a DVD on how to swim more efficiently.

Staying in bed and struggling to sleep again is not an option. My restlessness disturbs my partner who then lies awake next to me. If I stay in the house my toy poodle wakes and cries to come inside and start her day. The only way to make useful my time is to leave home and get some exercise or writing done. This morning I am again in the car park of the gym, writing some blogs and updating my training diary. This afternoon I pick up my bike from the shop where it is being serviced, so tomorrow in the early hours I will ride. The streets feel safer in the early morn as traffic is minimal.
Ironman training doesn’t allow polite, normal hours. My day starts well before the alarm goes off. Todaymy training is:

0400 update training diary, plan the next week.
Drive 30 minutes to gym.
0500 plyometrics 30 minutes
0530 lower body weights and resistance exercises 30 minutes
0600 RPM class (exercise bike) 50 minutes
0650 Core exercises 15 minutes
0705 leave for work.
1300 (lunch break) to pool or beach for an hour swim.

At 1800 – 2030h there is specific triathlon training with club. I’m usually too tired for this as the very early starts mean I need to go to bed early.

Tomorrow it’s plyometrics, stretching, lower body weights and a ninety minute swim with an hour on the bike either on the road or the stationary trainer. This is fit around a 60-70 hour working week with every night and weekend on call at the moment. Add in a relatively new relationship with a man with children and it’s obvious I’m busy…

Life’s busy, rewarding, and at times demands more than I feel I can give, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I might not make the podium in Ironman, palliative care doctoring or relationships, but I will work hard at all of them, and reap the rewards of dedication, commitment and endurance.

And one day I’ll sleep all the way until the alarm rings and wake rested.

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