I stepped out of the house a bit past five in the morning today. I haven’t done this in a while, taking my daily walk in the early morning. I used to do it pretty regularly, except back then I confined myself to the inner roads of our subdivision, or doing loops around the covered court in the nearby seminary. Walking the same routes every morning and doing repetitive routes got boring after a while, and combined with my erratic sleep schedule the habit soon fell off the wayside. I resumed my walking habit when I took a break from work in 2016, but this time mostly doing it late in the afternoons.
Afternoons have been getting more difficult lately, with some busyness in the schedule and the sudden yet inevitable onset of the summer heat, so I decided to try shifting back to mornings again. We’ll see how long it lasts.
Walking during the early mornings, before the sun has even broken, has a completely different atmosphere than the afternoons or even the evenings. The streets glow a pale blue and are nearly empty, though traffic is already starting to build up at some of the busier intersections. There are few other people out on their feet (as opposed to in cars) this early, enough that I would involuntarily nod when I passed some other early morning walker. I’m surprised to find that a nearby Jollibee operated 24 hours, and that the nearby Starbucks didn’t. I assumed it was the other way around.
I pass by a student on her way to school, with a companion accompanying her as she flags down a jeep. I commiserate with how early students need to get up to go to school in this country. I remember my own childhood when my mom would pick me up and drag me over to the sink to splash my face with water to get me going at five in the morning. Class usually started at seven, but the school bus would pick us up around six or even earlier. Somehow, we may be teaching kids to hate mornings.
I’m not one of those “not a morning person” people. I don’t need coffee to get started in the mornings either. I enjoy sleeping in when I can, but I’m always willing and able to get up early if I needed to. Combined with my tendency to sleep late into the night, this has led to my terribly erratic sleep schedule. Even as I’m walking out on the streets before the break of dawn, I expect myself to be taking a second sleep after getting home and having breakfast.
The sun starts to break through the night as I near the end of my route, a couple of corners away from home. My walk this morning is a bit shorter than my usual target of steps. There are some areas I prefer not to traverse before the light of day, so my options are a bit limited. As I get used to walking in the early mornings again I’ll try a few different routes to see if I can increase my steps. In the meantime, I turn the corner and head back home, looking forward to the morning’s pan de sal.