I set out on a week challenge to become a morning person. And by definition, for me that meant using the time “before the world is up” to go for a run, hit the gym or even take my time to take care of life’s mundane things like paying bills and cleaning the bathroom. Pesky chores, I say. Why am I taking on this challenge? Because after a long day at the office, the last thing I feel like doing when I get home around 5:30 p.m. is working out, cramming in enough time to do big girl things, spending time with my boyfriend and family, and prepping a meal that doesn’t suck for my body. Getting my workout done before anyone is functioning is a huge win. I want to wake up and get it out of the way before daily alerts start to bother me.

Day 1: Pure barre. I hated getting up at 6 a.m. to get to class by 7 a.m. But it was oh-so worth it not to have to pay for the street parking and still have time to get ready before heading into the office. Also, it was my birthday. Self-focus, for the win.

Day 2: Body attack fitness class. Sometimes getting up in the morning needs a deadline. And Tuesday my body needed me to have something scheduled, something waiting for me, something to wake up for. Body attack group fitness class to the rescue! I was a class newbie. It was some intense cardio — and I actually remembered to wear my heart monitor to track my calories and my heart rate. Even though some of the moves were silly, they did make me smile — which is hard to do at that hour.

Day 3: Woof. So I hit snooze once today. Which you know isn’t that bad considering my previous record — five times. Since I was a littttle late waking up, I decided to explore my neighborhood at 6 a.m. sharp and more or less got lost admiring all the old-turned-new homes that are probably well over $1 million. Ohh, ahhh — it was like I was on an episode of “House Hunters,” the runner edition. Can that be a show? HGTV, call me. My energy stayed high throughout the day with little to no coffee. I set a deadline to be in bed under the covers by 9:30 p.m. And asleep at least by 10 p.m.

Day 4: Run. Welp, my bedtime deadline was not really a thing last night. I blame the latest episode of [insert raunchy reality TV show here]. Since I had to review a pair of running shoes, it only made sense that I get my exercise over and done with — not just so I could write the review on time, but also before the sun scalded me with its hot (and humid) rays. I honestly think this was the only reason I even got up early to begin with. Nothing says motivation like a work deadline requiring you to be active at the wee hours of the day.

Day 5: Strength training. Not sure I’ll be doing strength training in the morning again. I felt really awesome when I woke up today, but thennnnn when I started doing my deadlift reps, I got a surging headache. Lack of fluids in my system = dehydration = brain pulses. No bueno. If I do decide to get my strength training done in the a.m., I’ll have to plan it ahead of time so that I can eat and hydrate appropriately the day before. Hydration is something I’ve always struggled with, but that’s a different post for a different time.

Day 6: Workout video. I was a bit short on time this morning, so I opted for a workout video that I know only takes 35 minutes. Plus, I like some variety — in case you couldn’t tell already. Nothing says gooood morning more than a little Shaun T. throwing “insane” cardio at you in your living room. Best thing? I literally got my sweat on clad in nothing but my booty shorts, sports bra and socks. I also had such a surge of energy that lasted me almost ’til lunch time. YAY!

Day 7: Relax and revive. This is SUPER IMPORTANT (so important, I put it in all caps). I have to take time to let my muscles recover from the brutally awesome things I put it through — you should too. But this also doesn’t mean I got to skip a workout entirely. I woke up and did a few brisk walking laps around my apartment building to get my muscles warm. Then, I took it inside where I foam rolled my little sore heart out — ah, it hurts so gooood. I did some core work and this two-minute workout Laura showed me, followed by some good ol’ stretching-it-all-out yoga poses. Down dog and pigeon, anyone?

What I learned. I actually held myself accountable! I mean, it might have been for the sake of doing this posting. But I hope my experience inspired some of you to grab the morning by the horns running shoes! I aim to keep up with this routine for as long as the weather allows. But I do realize that as fall makes a comeback with its low-light mornings and winter starts biting at my nose, it’ll be time to come up with another morning routine that gets me out of hibernating under my down comforter.