She reaches over and grabs her cell phone to turn off that annoying bubbling brook ring tone that she has set for her alarm. She tries to set the phone down quietly but misjudges the distance from her hand to the the night table and it lands with a loud thud, causing her husband to grunt, turn over and yank the covers from her. He immediately begins to snore again softly. She clumsily feels around on the low table for her glasses, bumping into OTC pain relievers, half-read books, a straightening iron her daughter never put away, and a small bottle of personal lubricant. On the 14th drop of her hand, she lands the glasses and shoves them unceremoniously onto her face, unsure why she needed them since she can’t see squat at 5:30 a.m. when it’s still dark.

She does the morning ablutions, prays, and shuffles into the kitchen and turns on the coffee pot that was prepared the night before. She starts the morning bathroom line-up by staggering the wake up of teenagers, two at a time, keeping them moving and focused on their next task like a well oiled machine. Between 6 and 6:45, she is able to get 4 high school students up, dressed, fed, loaded with correct backpacks and clean gym clothes, signed permission slips, and requested additional school supplies, out the door and on the correct buses. She wakes up the college student who spends exorbitant amounts of time in the bathroom and then ties up her walking shoes and heads out the door.

She’s got a family history of heart disease and has decided that this is the year to face facts. She’s fine with her curves and is old enough to know that that tag in her jeans is just a size and not a definition of her character. She just wants to feel healthy and working out is the only way to get that feeling. Also, it’s the only “ME TIME” that she is able to afford. She plugs in her earbuds and turns on her eclectic playlist and walks as fast as she can to her favorite songs; some heavy metal, some pop, some old school rap, some pseudo-country. She doesn’t care about the labels; only the best 8-count to keep her heart rate up. She warms up by walking the first 0.8 mile with a quick stride and then continues this pace with boxing moves to keep her arms and torso in shape for the next 0.6 mile walked. She completes the remaining 0.8 mile with the same paced stride all the way back home. A quick shower and she’s handing her husband his coffee and hanging with him on the back porch while he performs his morning wake up ritual with caffeine and nicotine.

It doesn’t seem like much, does it? A 40-minute plus shower routine to break up the morning and motivate her is all she needs to be able to get that self-preservation of mind and body that aids her in continuing her service to family. Keep it up, woman! You kick that heart disease gene right in the ass! Live healthy. Feel good.

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