Attack the Morning. CONQUER THE DAY!

6 July 2022

It’s been almost a week since my last day with my company. Or my former company. Whatever. Certain things have been done consistently, but there isn’t yet a routine through the day but there has been consistency with key pieces.

Mornings always start with feeding and walking the dawgz. And there’s been a workout every day. It’s involved The Give Team 15 and some other kind of work. Sometimes it’s been with the team. Sometimes it hasn’t. Mornings are critical to establishing momentum through the day, and rituals and routines are a cornerstone for that momentum. You can’t ATTACK THE MORNING if you don’t have a plan for that morning. And if you’re not attacking the morning, you start of reacting.

Guilt lingered about yesterday’s delayed workout and the fact Smith wasn’t able to participate . He’s taking a math class as prep work for college and couldn’t fit in the workout in time to make it to the class. I asked if he wanted to go on Wednesday as a makeup day. Of course he agreed.

I drove to Parramore around 7am with the Florida summer sun already throwing its heat. No clouds. Just sun behind me. I called Smith, but he didn’t answer. I started negotiating with myself. Should I turn around and do the workout at home? I could do a workout and then get right to work. Or should I keep going to the Center and put in my work there? The Center was closed over the 4th and was also closed the 5th, so today the kids should start arriving for the day as I wrap up the workout. And seeing the kids of New Image Youth Center lifts ALL spirits. Plan B, in effect. I exited 408 and tried calling Smith a second time. This time he picked up, obviously just waking up. I told him I was a mile away. He said he’d be ready by the time I arrived. And he was.

Smith lives with his mom, and his older sister Chanika and older brother Rome. He shares a bedroom with Rome which creates a challenge with sleep. Rome often stays up later than Smith would like, making it difficult to get a full night’s sleep. That’s problematic when he hears me harping on the importance of the FOUR PILLARS for optimizing ENGAGEMENT, FOCUS, ENERGY AND STRENGTH: (1) sleep; (2) nutrition; (3) movement; and (4) breathing.

Smith was moving slowly, so we started slow. We needed video footage of how to do The Give Team 15 - Core workout for our YouTube channel, so we started there. Not quite awake, Smith struggled bringing energy and annunciation to the introduction. After a few takes, we figured it all out. He nailed the demonstrations of the exercises, realizing along the way he could use a little of The Give Team 15 - Core in his life. He’s not alone. My personal plan is to do The Give Team 15 in the morning followed by whatever workout is called for that day, and The Give Team 15 Core workout in the afternoon with a follow up workout that isn’t too intense. The morning workout has followed the script (whether on my own or with the team), but the afternoon workout has varied.

We both jumped in for The Give Team 15. By this time the sun wiped out any shade and sweat flowed freely, soaking my shirt, hair and brow. With the consistency of June, Smith is getting better at The Give Team 15, but still far from his best. Looking back at the beginning of the Stacking Bricks Challenge on June 1, my progress has been significant. On June 1st, I was stuck in Iowa quarantining with COVID-19. My wife is immunocompromised and I couldn’t risk traveling or bringing it home, but at the same time I committed to The Stacking Bricks Challenge. Doing The Give Team 15 while still spitting COVID was BRUTAL. As my health improved so did my performance with The Give Team 15. The true barometer is being able to do all exercises without taking a break. I’m still not there. But with progress so far in July, I should be there by the end of the month.

We completed The Give Team 15 and rested prone in the shade of one of the vans, and a cool breeze trying to dry the sweat. It felt good to be done, looking up at transparent white cloud puffs. One was shaped like Mickey Mouse, so I took a picture. The picture looks nothing like Mickey Mouse. We talked about Smith’s plans for what’s next. He questioned whether college is the direction he should go. I shared my opinion: without any clear direction, college is the best path. There are options such as trade school certifications. But college is a great way to expand your frame of reference. It isn’t for everyone, but absent a clear direction it’s the best path for someone with broad interests but no clarity. Smith graduated from high school at the end of May, a member of the National Honor Society.

After resting a bit and seeing the kids arrive we got in the car. Neither Smith nor I wanted to go home. “Want to grab breakfast?”

We ended up at First Watch for a super healthy quinoa bowl, with quinoa and vegetables. My order had sausage and eggs. Smith’s had chicken. When we went Christo’s last weekend we learned healthy options don’t exist there, and we’re getting back to HEALTHY BREAKFASTS as part of the program. The best part of the First Watch breakfast was leaving satisfied, but not stuffed looking for a nap.

I took Smith home, reminding him tomorrow’s workout is at 5:30am with Adam. We’ll see who we get in the morning. That’s the eternal question.

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