The Perks of Being A Night Owl

Sometimes I forget that I am a creature ruled by hormones. So, after an emotional weekend and a much needed Saturday off from the retail grind, I'm feeling much better. As I mentioned before, I have a lot of alone time now and, admittedly, there are a few perks to the new schedule.

For one thing, mornings are wonderful. I've never had the opportunity to properly acquaint myself with them until now. I used to resent them for arriving too early and would stumble around pretending to be a functional human being until the caffeine kicked in. Now, mornings are what I look forward to. I suppose it's natural, considering it's the time that I go home for the day. But there's something a little more joyous about riding home into the sunrise.

Mornings have also inspired some unprecedented behavior in me. I've started to go running for no reason at all other than I felt inspired to -- just like Forrest Gump.  Unlike Gump, however, I map out an exact route and stick to it. So far, I'm logging just 2 miles each time, but I've already planned an ambitious 4-mile route when the ol' legs can handle it. Before you frown at my small goals, consider that I probably haven't run a full mile since I took the Presidential Fitness Test in the 8th grade.

I'm not sure exactly what inspired my sudden urge to pound the pavement. Anyone who knows me is aware that it's something I've never done or wanted to do, in college or before. (I'm notorious among friends for stepping foot inside Yates, Georgetown's gym facility, fewer than 10 times in four years.) But here I am embracing purposeful fitness. Purposeful as opposed to the unintentional fitness of say... riding my bike to get places. Biking was a sacred activity before and you'd be right if you guessed that it's only grown in importance with my overnight schedule.

A lot of people have given me a hard time about riding my bike to work at 11 o'clock. I admit I wasn't sure about it either at first, but a few weeks in, I wouldn't choose any other way to commute. The difference between riding my bike and taking the metro to work is like night and day. The metro is a slow, deserted and sometimes creepy operation in the late evening whereas the streets are a little friendlier. I can set my own pace on the bike. If I'm feeling groggy, I can take it easy and coast it out. And if I'm feeling anxious, I treat the commute as my personal time trial and race against the clock.

Will I fall off this new bizarre fitness craze by the time winter rolls around? Who knows. Maybe this is just a strange response to the lack of control I feel in my life. In the mean time, though, I'll just keep doing what keeps me happy and sane. And if that's running or biking or -- well -- there are certainly worse things.