The alarm buzzes and my phone vibrates. But I’m not vibrating. I’m still sleepy. I hit the snooze button. I close my eyes, but I stay awake. I open my eyes. 5:30 A.M. Half an hour passed since the alarm went off. I’m a morning person, not a waking up person. For Christmas I got a new blanket. It’s ridiculously comfortable. It should be illegal to sell blankets this comfortable. Freeing myself from the shackles of this blanket is the hardest part of my morning. I break free. Next, I get up to use the restroom. Then, I stuff my laptop into my backpack, put on a hoodie, grab my dumbbell, and head to the living room. I set my phone timer for 20 minutes, and rotate between 10 pushups and 10 curls in each hand. After that, I go for a run. Feels good. Definition of exhilaration: Being outside before the all the birds and people wake up. I can see the morning stars. I think I see Jupiter. No, that’s no Jupiter. Mars? No idea. Whatever it is, it’s bright, and my eyes are the only eyes that see it. Still running. Still good. And then it starts to suck. My legs hurt. Maybe it’s my shoes. I should get new shoes. I should stop running so that I can get new shoes so that I don’t hurt my legs. What if my legs snap in half while I’m running? Why am I even thinking about that? This is just one of the few dozen petty distractions that buzz through my head as I run. I get near the end: just a short uphill climb. Nothing to brag about, really. I make it to the top. I’m done. Woo. Though the uphill is short, it affords me a miniature moment of beauty as I look at the morning sky, backgrounded by mountains some 60 miles away.

I’ve only had this routine for the last 3 days. So far, I love it. I want to take this routine out to dinner and ask it, “where have you been all my life?”

Dear Morning Routine,

Where have you been all my life?


Dear Paul,

Where have you been all your life?

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