5:15 a.m.

I can recall that there was a time as a younger teacher that I would listen to some of the veteran teachers talk about how they would get up before

I don’t know how it happened to me, but it happened.

I can recall that there was a time as a younger teacher that I would listen to some of the veteran teachers talk about how they would get up before dawn to work out. My thought was that these people were out of their minds. Why would anyone get up that early to train? More specifically, how could anyone do that day after day? I felt like if I tried it, even once, I’d collapse by the time I was halfway through the day.

Then I started doing CrossFit. I found that I wanted to maintain my training routine because the constantly varied workouts were something I actually looked forward to doing. But a problem came to my attention: my schedule.

As a teacher, I worked until midafternoon, and then I had to coach two soccer teams and help with homework. The only reasonable solution was to train before the school day began.

But still I refused to go to the 5:15 a.m. class. Not me.


For years, I made the schedule work because I would train at 6 a.m. (a more logical and acceptable time in my mind) and shake my disapproving head at the lunatics who would be walking out to finish up their workouts at the insane time of 5:15.

Then this summer, I attained my CrossFit Level 1 certification and started working to assist with the On Ramp (beginners) classes. I liked doing it so much that I wanted to keep up with training and instructing these groups throughout the fall. The class takes place at 6 a.m., which left me with only two viable options: give up working with these classes and learning how to become an effective CrossFit coach or do the unfathomable and start regularly attending the 5:15 a.m. class.

Last month, I gave it a shot on a trial basis. Much to my surprise, it was easier than I had thought. I know there are times in everyone’s life when people build up an event or a project and make it bigger and more daunting in their minds than it actually turns out to be. This was true for me in terms of regularly attending the 5:15 class.

For starters, it takes a special type of person to make the choice to pay money and voluntarily get up at 4:30 a.m. to go through punishing workouts all before 6 in the morning. These people are just my type of people. Honestly, once you get past the mental aspect of setting an alarm for 4:15-4:30 a.m. each day, it really isn’t that bad. Like anything else, if you can do something consistently over an extended period, it can become a habit.

So what I have come to find out is that making the move to get up this early and train really sets the tone for the whole day. I don’t think I would have ever imagined that I’d look forward to getting up and doing work before the sun even comes up, but it really is starting to become a part of my routine.

Do you have really early morning WODs at your box? Share your experiences in the comments on our Facebook page.

Stay on the grind.

Jamie Toland (JTol)
Twitter @JTolgrinder