Day 462 – Joyful Living Project


The 4am Club

If you had told me a few weeks ago that I would be getting up each morning at 5 a.m. to walk, run, and climb stairs, I would have said you were crazy.

Over the last year of being on the road full-time, I’ve struggled to keep a fitness routine. It’s been challenging staying in shape when I’m driving 10+ hours a day, sleeping in different beds, and managing an unpredictable schedule. That said, those are all just excuses to NOT have a healthy relationship with my body and my physical well-being. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve found myself lethargic, irritable, withdrawn, tired, and quite frankly not so joyful.

I tried all sorts of things to shift my energy and mood. Though I did feel better for a moment, I quickly drifted back into that lower state. But then a week ago, I woke up at 5 a.m. and decided to go for a walk around Washington, D.C. More specifically, I saw a set of stairs I wanted to climb. I didn’t know they were the steep, treacherous stairs featured in the movie The Exorcist.

Little did I know that for the next six days, I would wake up at 5 a.m. each day to walk, run, and climb those stairs. Fifty-four miles and 1,550 stairs later, I had seen the most stunning sunrises and monuments that reenergized my body, mind, and spirit.

It’s amazing how we can reconnect with our bodies when we push ourselves to move and breathe, especially first thing in the morning.

It’s still hard to not hit the Snooze button. However, once I put on my shoes and step outside, I feel a resurgence of energy. Yesterday, I ran the stairs and then walked to the United States Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial). Then I walked to the Arlington National Cemetery and then to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. After that came the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial Stone and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. After nearly eight miles, I was wiped out and my phone battery had died.

I still had another seven miles to go to get back to my Airbnb. Without any cash or a credit card or a functional phone, I couldn’t call an Uber or a cab to get back. Needless to say, I ended up running and walking more than 14 miles that day.

This morning, I joined the 4 a.m. club and climbed those 76 Exorcist steps five times before heading off to work. I’m discovering that when I realign my relationship with my body, it reactivates the flow of joy.


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