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  • Writer's pictureJoy Earle

“I Didn’t Know There Was a 5:15 AM”


One evening my funny friend Debbie sent me a text message after 9 p.m.; I was sound asleep. It is quite simple really: I go to bed by 8:30 most every night to make sure I am up and out of the house by 5:05 a.m. to get to gym class for my workout. 


So when I arrived the next morning, after parking my car sipping some caffeine (a must), I answered her text and went into the early session of “Pay for Pain.” Yes, I pay to be tortured; it is what a lot of people do to stay fit and get stronger. She responded later that day with this famous line: "Who is up sending a text at 5:15 a.m.?!? I didn't even know there was a real 5:15 a.m.!"


Let’s insert some humor here. I was never someone to embrace the morning, much less get out of bed at an unheard of hour, leave the house with no makeup and bed hair to face other people! Lord help! In case you haven't discovered this truth, please allow me to share. Your body will betray you! It mocks you at every turn after you enter your 30s. It laughs at you, giggles at your jiggles, and reminds you that the years of ignoring it are now going to be made up for by more years caressing a dumbbell or a kettlebell accompanied by a strange man or woman shouting, "Don't stop! Ten more seconds, three, two, one!!!" My journey began with some spin classes, then running, and finally a need to plant myself in a fitness program that would nurture me and inspire new growth. Oh, don't get me wrong. My body still taunts me, but that is only to challenge me. I have some muscles now! The bonus prize? I have buddies!  My workout bestie/buddy is Barb, without whom I would not have survived. Sharing life’s ups and downs with one another, taking each early morning as it is delivered with the expectation that should we not enjoy the workout, we will appreciate the company.  


The people that make up this class of early risers vary in age, size, and sense of humor. Some are quick to understand my early morning quips, some take everything way too seriously -- and they scare me. Everyone is so different, yet there is a common goal: to be better, stronger, and healthier for ourselves and those we love. Sounds like a church doesn't it? It is a weekly ritual that has become an act of physical obedience which renders spiritual benefits. My God that fights for me (Exodus 14:14) is there for every crunch, lift, and swing. He reminds me when I face the physical challenges that He will never leave me, and no matter how hard it may be at times, He will help with the heavy lifting and carry the weight for me.  


Yes Debbie, there is a 5:15 a.m. and I don't want to miss a second of it!!

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