New Year, new you?  How to spectacularly fail to add regular exercise to your morning ‘routine’.

We’re well into the new year and many of you may be successfully making good on your resolutions and new year goals, logging your 10,000 daily steps on your new shiny app, along with the weekly 10k run and a spin class for good measure.  There may be others amongst you however, who – like me – have found yourselves stumbling early on and realising (not for the first time) that attempting to manage your life AND trying to get fit at the same time, may require a level of organisation and dedication currently beyond your capabilities.

If it all seems to be going a bit too well so far, here is my suggested method of how to fall from the dizzy heights of your exercise plan and fail to maintain the ‘achievable goal of completing 4 short HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training, for the uninitiated) sessions in a week’:

Far too early on a Monday morning:

  • Wake up when your alarm goes off in the middle of the night (5.10am to be precise).
  • Press snooze.
  • Press snooze again.
  • Decide an extra 30 minutes sleep really will make all the difference today and switch off the alarm altogether.
  • Edit plan and swap HIIT session to tomorrow morning.
  • Apologise profusely to your 10 year old HIIT partner and promise to do better tomorrow.
  • Notice just before you go to bed at 11.30pm that the 10 year old has painstakingly edited the calendar crossing out HIIT on Monday and adding HIIT on Tuesday.
  • Realise that you might not get away with repeated snoozing tomorrow morning.
  • Sigh heavily.

Far too early on a Tuesday morning:

  • Wake up when your alarm goes off at 5.10am.
  • Feel like you are in a scene from ‘Groundhog Day’ and press snooze.
  • Wake up 7 minutes later and realise with a start that it’s now 5.20am.
  • Consider throwing the alarm across the room and into the fires of hell.
  • Remember that your protein pancake mixture is still in the fridge after your failed Monday HIIT session and internally debate whether 20 minutes extra sleep is really worth the guilt of a missed HIIT session AND wasted food.
  • Recall the enthusiasm of your 10 year old HIIT partner and drag yourself out of bed.

Tuesday 5.20am

  • Wake 10 year old, find her less enthusiastic than you had predicted, and consider returning to bed.
  • Realise you’d only have to get up again soon anyway.
  • Sway gently whilst attempting to dress for exercise and mentally prepare to be energetic.

Tuesday 5.30am

  • Attempt a half-hearted warm up and wonder what could ever have possessed you to jog on the spot in your kitchen at some ungodly hour.
  • Proceed with the standard warm up routine but find yourself collapsing to the ground in exhausted defiance whilst trying to complete your second ‘walk out. Press up. Walk back’ move.
  • wonder if it’s too early to give up yet.

Tuesday 5.45am

  • Take an unexpected early break whilst the 10 year old decides she must go back upstairs for an emergency wee.

Tuesday 5.55am

  • Start workout 20 minutes behind schedule.
  • Listen to the, now familiar, wails of a child attempting to do star jumps on wooden floorboards in bare feet.
  • Remind 10 year old, once again, that wearing trainers to exercise would immediately solve this recurring problem.

Tuesday 5.57am

  • Wobble your way through two sets of ‘reverse lunges with a knee thrust’ and ponder on the fact that exercises that sound ridiculously difficult generally are.

Tuesday 6am

  • Move onto box press ups and make the foolish mistake of trying to give advice to the 10 year old on how to complete this exercise.
  • Recognise very quickly what a bad idea that was as a small, panicked voice demands you ‘STOP THE VIDEO’ as she can’t do it properly.
  • Sigh heavily
  • Pause video.
  • Try to stay calm and talk through the technique.
  • Have flashbacks to the many, many occasions when this has happened before and wonder why you EVER think it’s a good idea to exercise with your child in the early mornings.

Tuesday 6.15am

  • Attempt to quell the mounting hysteria of the 10 year old, whilst simultaneously beginning to stress about the increasing noise levels in the kitchen of your terraced house at an unsociable hour.
  • Try a reasoned approach and suggest we move onto the next exercise.
  • Realise that a reasoned approach is not going to go far and that your 10 year old might possible need more sleep.

Tuesday 6.20am

  • Lose your cool.
  • Tell 10 year old she won’t be allowed to get up for future HIIT sessions if she can’t handle the pressure!
  • Regret this as noise levels continue to rise.

Tuesday 6.25am

  • Look at the time and realise you should be 5 minutes away from finishing your work out.
  • Calculate that you are – in fact – barely 5 minutes into it.
  • Break the news to 10 year old that, even if you wanted to continue (and quite frankly, by now, you really don’t), you actually have to get ready for work now.
  • Momentarily wonder if there are any other households in the land who could claim to have a sobbing 10 year old screaming ‘PLEASE let me finish the HIIT. You can’t stop now! We’re supposed to be training partners!’
  • Attempt a calm, rational explanation of the demands of work and the challenges of rush hour traffic.

Tuesday 6.30am

  • Give up and try to make breakfast, negotiating the new obstacle of the reinvigorated 10 year old performing ‘crab and punch’ moves across the kitchen having insisted that she complete the session alone.
  • Resign yourself to the fact that you will have to eat your ‘refuel protein pancakes’ despite having done nothing whatsoever worthy of refuelling.

Tuesday 6.40am

  • Change out of your gym clothes, painfully aware that they have proven to be totally redundant this morning.

Tuesday 7am

  • Drive to work reflecting on the fact you have been awake for 2 hours and achieved little more than eating a carb heavy breakfast that you hadn’t earned.
  • Cry a little.
  • Wonder if 2019 might be your year to get fit instead….





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