School has begun. This makes me happy. It’s not that I don’t love summer, I do. In fact I prefer summer. I homeschool many of my children and so the start of the school year means a lot more work for me, but it also means routine again. Days without structure and late summer nights are wonderful, but I think most of us are ready for schedules and regularity again. Getting my children back into a routine helps me to get back into one as well. Although the substance of my workouts don’t change much, when and where I workout is different during the school year than in the summertime. Mostly I need to get up earlier now to fit in a workout around the school day, and I’m forced to be a little more regimented about my exercise.
Things get going around my house now at about 7:30, so ideally that’s when I like to be finished with a workout. This will mean getting up and out early at least three days a week, and it will be a challenge for me as the school year begins. This morning I met my sister at her house at 6 am to go for a run, and I was home, showered and ready by 8. It’s now almost 11 am and I’m feeling the effects of the early morning run already…it’s going to be a long year.
Although feeling tired is something I never get used to, there are definitely advantages to this new schedule. One is that on most days I can actually get a shower in the morning and put on clothes that normal people wear (in the summer I feel like I live in workout clothes-and we aren’t talking the “fastinista” kind). Another advantage is that the structure of the rest of the week forces me to be structured about my exercise routine as well. I usually text my running buddies early in the week to figure out when we will meet and then I can set my workout schedule for the rest of the week depending on when we run. I like to know what I’ll be doing Monday through Friday, and during the summer I’m forced to be more spontaneous and flexible. Although I don’t consider myself rigid about my workout routine, I’ll admit its just easier when I know what to expect.
Another advantage I see about this change in routine is the new outlook I seem to gain at this time of year. In the same way my kids feel about new books and binders and supplies, I feel like the fall routine is a chance to begin anew as well. There’s a feeling that a new schedule will bring a fresh perspective and a little boost in motivation, maybe. I’m also looking forward to cooler days (which don’t really come around until early October in Charlotte), and the change in weather which is always better for my running.
One disadvantage is that I won’t be able to get to more of the exercise classes I had started this summer. With older kids home a little more during the summer, I was able to sneak out in the afternoon or evening and try some different things. I did a few Pure Barre and Yoga classes, and it will no doubt be more difficult for me to fit those in during the school year. My husband and I like to run together when we can, and that will also prove more difficult now, since our kids’ activities usually take place in the evening during the school year, and soon it’ll start to get darker earlier.
I realize that for many, the new school year actually makes it easier to find time for exercise. How about you? Does the start of school and a new schedule help with your exercise routine or does it make it a little more of a challenge?