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Pre-dawn time at the gym is an acquired taste

July 14, 2000

Pre-dawn time at the gym is an acquired taste



My morning workout begins with the reach-over-my-husband stretch.

Laying on my side, I lift my torso and contort to the left, reaching my right arm over his head to quiet the alarm clock.

It's 4:30 a.m. He still has hours of sleep ahead, but I am off to the gym for my pre-work sweat regimen.

I throw on my shorts, T-shirt, socks and sneaks and cover my bed head with a baseball cap. I toss the lunch I made the night before into my carry-all bag, then throw it over my shoulder, along with my purse and gym bag, which holds my "grown-up" clothes for work.

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The roads are really quiet at that hour, and so am I. While I can trick my body into working out before the birds dare to chirp, my personality doesn't awaken until after I've showered.

The glow of the "Open" sign welcomes me and the approximately 10 others who frequent Gold's Gym in Martinsburg, W.Va., on weekdays at 5 a.m. We all know each other by sight, if not by name, and I feel a certain level of comfort in their presence.

The sound of weighted plates rattling after being slammed back down on a bench by the hard-core lifters somehow soothes me like the snap, crackle and pop of cereal does others. And who needs coffee when you can experience a natural jolt - of pride, that is - after completing a nasty set of squats?

It's an acquired taste, I admit. But the feeling of accomplishment I have before even setting foot in the office makes it so rewarding.

Exercising early four workdays a week gives me energy and focus.

And on that fifth day, I feel justified in postponing by a luxurious 90 minutes that reach-over-my-husband stretch.




Meg H. Partington is a Staff Writer for Lifestyle.

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