7:30. Wake up. For those of you who know me in real life, this is a shock. I’m notoriously anti-mornings. But here I am, pulling myself out of bed, throwing on my workout clothes, brushing my teeth, washing my face, tossing a little caffeine in my gullet, and heading out the door.
7:45. Lift weights. My gym is so frustratingly crowded at all other times that this is the only chance I can get in there and do what I want to do without fighting for space. When it comes to gym-time, I’m in and out, thankyouverymuch. I walk in the door, hit a treadmill for five minutes to get my juices flowing, lift like crazy, walk on the ‘mill for five minutes to keep the juices flowing to my now-pumped muscles, and leave while peeling my shirt off and laying a protective towel on my car’s seat to block the sweat.
8:30. Get ready for the day. I hustle home, throw a protein shake and a fast-burning carb down the hatch, rinse the gym grime off my skin, put on my bikini, and then…
9:00. Work. I manage things. I do things. I help others manage and do things.
10:00. Eat breakfast. Much like how my day is a routine, this meal never differs: four egg whites, two whole eggs, a toasted English muffin (the low cal, high fiber version), and a carb (either fat-free yogurt or a piece of fruit). I scarf this down while checking my daily haunts: Hotmail, Facebook, F My Life, Texts from Last Night, MSN, MyYahoo!, and the Chicago Tribune.
10:15. Work more. Yeah. All of that Internetting and eating doesn’t take long. I don’t dawdle.
11:30. Lounge outside. I grab whatever book or magazine I’m currently working through, and I head to my sun-lit patio. I unhook my top, soak up the rays, and make some vitamin D while not thinking about work, working out, or carb-to-protein ratios.
12:30. Rinse off, then work more. Blah blah blah.
Later. Eat lunch. Like breakfast, this doesn’t differ either: four ounces of turkey, one Flatbread (the low-carb, high fiber version), and a small can of V8. You might wonder how I can stand eating the same thing everyday. The simple answer is that not having to think about these meals outweighs the desire to eat something different. I know this tastes good and meets my nutritional goals, and that’s enough for me.
5:00. Stop working. Run my errands. Go for a walk. Read. Do some more Internetting. Clean my house. Talk with a friend as she’s driving home from work. Whatever happens, happens.
7:15. Head out for a run. The temperature is usually under 100 at this point, so I slather on a ton of sunscreen, don a sports bra and a small pair of shorts, and drive to the Town Lake path or just wander campus. I’m doing a decent job of following an online marathon training program, so I usually do whatever the program tells me to do that day. I don’t listen to music. I just go. And go and go and go. Despite living a life with much solitude, this is my quiet time to ignore the 106 things that are constantly on my mind.
Later. Refuel and shower. I toss back a Slim-fast shake up, and maybe a little Gatorade too. Both of these are in my stomach by time I walk the 50 feet to the shower. I’ve already rinsed off twice today, but this is the one where I break out the soap with the scrub in it, the no-nonsense shampoo, and more than 45 seconds of hot water.
Later. Eat dinner. Sometimes this involves other people, but most of the time it doesn’t. This is pretty much the only meal of the day that changes. But even then, there’s not much variance: lean meat and carbs that only come from vegetables.
Later. Finish out my evening. Log my workouts. Chat with friends on IM. Call my family. Read some more. Again, whatever happens, happens. I check my work email to see if there’s anything the India team needs from me before they start their workday. Then I brush my teeth, wash my face, and head to bed at a respectable hour.
In sum, I live a much simpler life these days. It’s quieter, slower, and more introspective. I won’t go so far to say that it’s better than when I lived in Chicago; it’s just different. I’ve always gone through phases of extreme extraversion and intense introversion. Right now my end of the spectrum is obvious. Sometimes I do get lonely and long for my previous life, but overall this is a nice reprieve.
My favorite clothes don’t get worn. My face rarely sees makeup. I walk slower and talk less. Sunscreen is a necessity.
In the not-too-distant future I’d like to find a balance between where I was and where I am, but for now I’ll revel in the simplicity and comfort of having a routine that encourages healthy living, quiet thoughts, and heading in new directions as they come my way.