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Healthy Living

An Ode To Coffee.

My Ode to Coffee

Coffee, oh coffee, how you have changed my life,
But the change has come at quite a great price.
If only I had known you would cause me such strife,
I would have taken heed at my father’s advice.
“With your first job, refrain from the horrible habit of drinking coffee.”
Such simple words spoken from the wisdom of experience,
But now my mornings, they are a slave to you,
My weekend morning workout ideals now seem so lofty.
With my morning coffee routine trying to run interference,
It is with great sorrow that I kiss my weekend morning workout ideals, adieu.

Coffee MugToday on the way into work .. ok wait, back-up, I have to confess something first before diving in. This morning, I woke up three minutes before the alarm clock went off for my morning workout, got up, and reset the alarm for an hour later. I know, for shame! And I would give myself a hard time about it, except that I barely made it through the longest Thursday of my life yesterday at work, and could not fathom having another day like that, especially on a Friday (no one wants to head into the weekend feeling like a failure!). I was tired, exhausted really, and needed to sleep. So I did, and you know what? I don’t regret it at all. I’m not 100% sure what that means yet, but my over-analytical self is trying really hard to just “put a pin in it.”

Ok, fast forward past the guilt, self-doubt, and torturous thoughts, to the car ride into work. I was holding my coffee cup in place in my cup holder (no WAY I am risking losing any of that magic elixir), thinking about how I didn’t work out, and was going over my upcoming weekend plans. I thought to myself that I could possibly workout tomorrow before the weekend festivities begin, if I got up early and just hit the gym. And then something occurred to me, literally stopped me in my thought track (much like running into a glass door .. which I have never done…), it instantly took the wind out of my sails. “I can’t possibly workout in the morning tomorrow, when will I have weekend coffee time?” It is the single most anticipated moment leading into the weekend. That moment when you have fed and walked the dogs, cleaned up, and brewed a fresh pot (or K-cup, if you are anything like me) of coffee, and can sit down with your favorite person in the world, kick up your feet, do some reading on the iPad and just chill and drink your coffee. For that moment, the only care you have is, “am I drinking this fast enough to ensure it is not going to get too cold, because I really don’t want to throw off my coffee to cream ratio..” And after a week of hard work (some weeks, I admit, I feel more entitled to use those words than others), what is there not to love about your coffee to creamer ratio being the most stressful element of your morning.

So, still driving, I fast forwarded to a family vacation that is coming up, wherein my morning workout routine will REALLY be put to the test. Could I possibly pull off the seemingly impossible – get up early on a vacation to work out? And then, again, SLAM. Glass door. My much needed coffee time. The only thing that makes the vision of morning coffee time more appealing, is the notion that I could be doing it outside, in a adirondack chair, staring at a lake. It was not until that moment, the car ride this morning, that I realized just how much of a slave I had become to my morning coffee routine .. er, habit (did you read my previous post?).

So I am introducing a new word to my vocabulary – compromise (not to be confused with bargaining). Did you know that there are two separate definitions of the word compromise – one with a positive connotation and one a negative?

Positive: “An agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.”
Negative: “A concession to something detrimental or pejorative: a compromise of morality.”

I am not sure how I will handle my upcoming vacation in terms of my morning workouts, but I do know that just as with everything in life, I need to ensure that when I engage in an active state of compromise, that I ensure they are positive compromises. I do not have to get up every morning to workout, and I do not need to feel bad for those mornings that I don’t. But I need to ensure that I am getting up some mornings to workout, so that I can feel good about my decision to sleep in on other days. You could think of this as ensuring all is done in moderation, but I am here to tell you, there are no set limits to “moderation” and it is dangerously easy to redefine what moderation is in any given situation. Positive compromise ensures that you are creating balance, that you do not have to compromise your morality.

“Human life is a series of compromises, and it is not always easy to achieve in practice what one has found to be true in theory.” – Mahatma Gandhi

The real moral of this post is that coffee is not the villain here, it is not the devil sitting on my shoulders .. the defiant portion of my sub-conscious (or for some of you, the little devil looking dude/dudette that sits on one of your shoulders) that insists on making negative compromises, is.

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2 thoughts on “An Ode To Coffee.

  1. Nicole (aka Nikki), you’re right — coffee is not the devil; it is the angel / the savior. You know the rules of the house: “don’t mess with me — I haven’t had my coffee yet!”. I enjoyed your post and could relate to it completely, as well as to the previous one on working out as a habit vs. routine. The good thing about running is that in the summer up there, you don’t have to worry about the ice and snow. You can run outside every day. Some days may be hotter or wetter than others, but at least it’s there for you when you go on vacation. Just a hint: I always had a better run and workout if I had my coffee first about 15 mins to 1/2 hour before. If you just wake up a little bit earlier, then you could have your coffee & your workout too! But waking up even earlier to do that is altogether a return to a previous post. I love you!!

    Posted by Karen Montembeault | May 18, 2012, 4:08 pm
  2. Ah, Nicole, I can’t believe you’ve become a slave to coffee!! A great post, but I am disappointed that you haven’t formed the habit yet on working out in the morning! And to blame it on a cup of coffee – jeez, what’s going to be the next thing to interfere with forming the workout habit? Getting through the entire paper before anyone can speak to you (see previous comment!)? No more excuses!! Plan your wake up time around the time it takes to first and foremost get your run in and then you can savor your cup of coffee without any guilt!
    Bad habit – hit the snooze, skip the run, drink coffee, feel guilty
    Good habit – set the alarm, get right up, workout, enjoy the coffee, feel great all day!!

    Posted by Roger Montembeault (aka Dad) | May 19, 2012, 11:48 am

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