Late February in Minnesota is a trying time. Football is over, the days are short, ice and snow for winter sports is unreliable, and spring does not feel guaranteed. Inevitably, my mind looks for challenges and entertainment in the kitchen. New recipes and foods are sought. My overall fitness undoubtedly dips.
Then, a calendar invite appears. The boss has invited several us around the office for a 6AM run. Initially, I recoiled in horror and disbelief. Surely, he knows the weather reports… He can’t be serious… That early?... This was outside of my comfort zone…literally.
20 minutes later, with a heavy sigh... I accept the invite.
Wednesday March 7th was predicted to reach 29 degrees at mid-day. At 5:30 AM, on the drive to Proozy HQ, it was unmistakably NOT a balmy 29 degrees. A group of 8 of us gathered early to stretch and collectively give each other the “Are-We-Really-Doing-This Look.” At 6:05, as simply as it sounds, we resolutely walked out the front door and ran.
Along the route, we carefully trotted over patches of black ice, hoping our headlamps would help us spot the next slippery pitfalls. A frigid 2.5 miles later, we made a quick stop so that many of us could see the new Proozy HQ (more on this later). This was worth the price of admission. We toured the new space in a frozen, dream-like state, admiring it’s potential. Realizing that we were not just on a work outing, we then ran 2 miles back to the office.
As muscles cooled and our fingers and noses warmed, we all felt great! That feeling of accomplishment carries through to your work and outlook on life, in general. It's important to have a person on your team, at your work, in your life that sets out challenges like this. Luckily, we have such a person at the helm of Proozy.com to push us to be better. Thanks, Jeremy.
No one was told of a 6 AM photo shoot.
Guess who planned this?
This challenge got me thinking. Why would we want to run that early?
Here is what I’ve found for the benefits of running early:
- Burns more calories (if that’s what you’re into)
- Better self-discipline and habit formation
Natural Mood Boost due to the chemicals your brain produces to compensate for the work
- You then enjoy this mood boost throughout your day
- Otherwise you might be sleeping through this time
Of course, there are some things to reconsider:
- Avoiding injury is usually a little easier in the afternoon, as theoretically, your muscles are a little more warmed up
Performance will also be typically a little better later in the day
- Fun Fact: Many of the world records in sports are typically achieved between 4-7 PM, especially speed events
- Gathering a willing crowd and reliable judges at an early hour may be a factor
For our efforts, we were treated to some much-appreciated dark chocolate, protein-packed pancakes and coffee from our resident-chef, Brady. Though the kitchen may be humble, the culinary creations are largely what fuels these morning challenges.
This is a new tradition for us at Proozy HQ. Every Wednesday at 6 AM, the Proozy Running Club meets. (The general public is invited, of course). The route may change, but the feeling of accomplishment to start the day never wavers.