“The difference between rising at five and seven o’clock in the morning, for forty years, supposing a man to go to bed at the same hour at night, is nearly equivalent to the addition of ten years to a man’s life.”
Most people would identify themselves as either larks (early risers) or night owls. Several weeks ago, we asked Fork in the Road fans to tell us why they get up at the butt-crack of dawn and what they get out of it. Here’s what they told us, and some of the beautiful images they provided to help make the point.
Deb Dyar: For some reason, the most spiritual moments for me come in the early morning. Breathe deeply and experience the beauty.
Terri Byrnes Wiebold: I wake up early on my own. My time then meditating and journaling sets the tone for the day. Each day this anchors my connection with the universal energy and flow of the day.
Kelly Bittner: I get up at 4:30am to go to kickboxing/strength classes. Initially, it was a struggle, but now I love being awake that early. I can take my time and not feel crazy rushed to get to work. Plus I have all the time in the world after work to still cook/meet friends/do anything. BONUS: it’s so peaceful in the morning. I love seeing all the deer and hearing the birds chirping.
Sue Goode: I love to see the sun rise…the quietness of the hour, preparation for the day. Prayer, exercise and meditation.
Tracey L. Kelley: Few things are as amazing as watching the sun come up, listening for birds, and having a moment of peace that sets the day in motion. Night has its own special energy, but I like who I am when I get up early instead of staying up late. I read, do yoga, take a walk or—if I’m really lucky—witness some pretty incredible scenes in nature:
Sarah Harding: My morning routine is essential. Getting up “early” for me means before the three kids and preferably 5 hours or more after going to bed.
Shirley Treanor: When I get out of bed early it allows time for me to take care of my sunflower garden while beating the heat of the hot summer days. It is a good way to start the morning because it puts me in a meditative state and connects me to the plant kingdom.
Tiffany McSkimming: I love being up early. I workout first thing–P90x3 or Les Mills Combat, 30-45 minutes. I’m more energized for the day and able to handle life’s stresses better. It’s my “me” time to get focused in for the day!
Tami Thompson: I was really struggling with how I would capture the joy I have in early rising. Then I realized it would be simple. One of my very favorite things to do as a mom is watch my kids, especially when they don’t know I’m watching. And I love looking at their faces while they’re sleeping. This is pure joy and it is that joy I have when I get up early.
Jenny Comstock: I like to be doing one of four things as the sun comes up: yoga, running, roller skating or meditating. Sunrise truly is a magical time. If I can do something to nurture my soul right off the bat, I find I will continue to do so for the rest of the day.
Julie Poore: That still and quiet time before the neighborhood comes to life is a holy moment for me: To bear witness to all of creation coming to life. My morning starts with going straight to my yoga mat. Breathing in and out, deep into my lungs, is an act of gratitude for the breath and life. My morning ritual ends with the blessings of a shower. Water has always been a powerful element for me.
Diane Goodson Baker: I have always been an early riser—it is the best part of my day. I have more energy early for yoga, walks or exercise followed by meditation or gratitude journaling. I like to keep my life balanced and fun after years of deadlines and taking life too seriously.
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