Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sunrise Ninja

Okay, so I'm not hunting rabbit. I am being very, very quiet.

My eyes are open and I glance at the red digits on the clock.  If I'm lucky (so will my wife be) I've woken before my alarm has sounded.  On an off day it will go off once, but sometimes I'll doze off and it will ring again (three minutes later) before I'm up for good.  

Next I glide gently out of bed, the Tempurpedic mattress doing its best to isolate my subtle movements.  I softly unplug my phone taking caution to set the cable down without a sound.  I grab the flashlight off my nightstand and switch it on the low setting, shielding all but a sliver of light with my grip.  Being careful not to step on the dog I exit the bedroom; I'll return only once more for a kiss on my way out (or to fetch a towel if I've forgotten an extra).

Outside the bedroom everything has been prepared the night before: clothes for my workout and work, the preloaded Keurig (on its timer), lunch, the disposable contact lenses partially peeled open, the Clif Bar package cut open (we wouldn't want to wake the sleeper with loud crinkles).  First things first it's time for coffee.  It takes nine seconds to heat the milk (I set it for ten and stop it before the timer sounds) and then I use all my skill to open and close the microwave door without making noise.  The sugar is already in the cup and I'm an expert silent stirrer.  I have my coffee and a bar of some sort and it's workout time.  

Some days I slip out once, only to return after work.  Other days I come back home after training and resume my tightrope walk.  When I return home, I will - in silent fashion - have to pull off a shower, get dressed, and have breakfast (which requires a whole added layer of nighttime planning and can even involve pre-foiling a baking sheet the night before).

If my description thus far has you picturing me as some kind of saint, who is just so considerate to his better half, think again.  Being as quiet as possible while awake at 5:00 am is still louder than being asleep (except in the case of loud snorers).  With my grand finalé all my efforts at producing a silent theater will fly out the window.

Yep, the "310" on the screen is the number of blends (in about 10 months)
Smoothies are a big part of my morning routine and have been a mainstay of my breakfast for years.  Regrettably there is no quiet way to blend orange juice with frozen fruit, especially when your blender can purée solid concrete and seems more fit to power a helicopter rotor than produce a blended treat (I've even tried letting the frozen fruit defrost before blending but the sound difference is negligible at best and the consistency of my drink is compromised significantly).  I've offered many times to forgo the smoothie altogether, but my lady insists it's okay.  I wishfully think that it has become part of her morning dreams, but it must be more of a nightmare.

What about the dog?
Through all of this the dog wonders what role she has in my morning tango: am I dancing alone or can she cut in?  I used to be the morning walker with my wife taking afternoons, but when she began graduate school we swapped duties.  By now Shea realizes that her walk will wait until Mommy wakes up but sometimes she eagerly requests a trip outside and an early breakfast.  Then we'll play for a few minutes before she realizes just how ungodly early it is and asks to go back into the bedroom.  Dealing with the dog is an unaccounted for activity in my routine but I welcome the deviation and envy her endless energy.  She is bursting with life as soon as she wakes and I only wish I could be so enthusiastic at 5:00am.

And now... a "Thank You"
My ninja act is a delicate one and it has taken me many months to reach this level of fluidity.  Nonetheless with so many things to do, coupled with the small margin of audible error provided by a 1-bedroom apartment, my wife puts up with my shenanigans.  As I've said before, Ironmen are not often made alone.  Though no one does my training for me, there are those who help make it possible.  To  the woman who lies by my side while I sleep and gently stirs as I wake up: "gracias." 

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