Last Thursday, the alarm went off at 4:45am as it does every Tuesday and Thursday so that I can take Deb O’Leary’s Interval class through Wethersfield Parks and Recreation. While I’m a morning person, anything before 5am truly feels like it should still be considered night. I was tired, sore, and really didn’t feel like getting up or going outside in the bitter cold.

But I did.

I stepped outside and immediately felt invigorated by the cold air. The world was quiet. That is something I love about the early morning that doesn’t happen late at night. In the wee small hours of the morning, it seems as if the whole world is still asleep and dreaming. There is a quiet to the air and a stillness that always makes me feel happy to be up and thrilled to be alive. And I was suddenly glad I was up to appreciate it.

Three and a half minutes later:

My car hadn’t warmed up by the time I was half way there (it takes less than ten minutes to get there), so I was pretty chilly–my gloved hands felt as if they’d frozen to the steering wheel–and I caught myself once again wondering what the heck I was doing. In the cold of my car all my sore muscles seemed exacerbated. I felt tired. I had not idea how I was going to get through the sprints we’d been doing in every class. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel like exercising, which happens sometimes. I felt like exercising, I just wasn’t so sure my body felt like it that much.

But then we started moving and within five minutes I felt great and strong. It was the unexpected strength that made me so happy. My sore muscles seemed to disappear and were replaced with Super Woman. Over the course of the class I held five one-minute planks. I was awake and my body felt fabulous–the kind of fabulous that makes you want to dance naked in front of the mirror (although I didn’t do that–at least partly due to lack of time).

It is true that exercise can make your body and mind feel better. The body likes to move. It craves movement. I’m glad I moved it and moved it early. It set the tone for my whole day.