Headed to the YMCA for my 22nd swim in 24 days, I was struck by a comical thought. Here it was going on 6 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving. Thousands of cars filled the parking lots of stores in my hometown. Most of these people had gotten up hours earlier than normal to hit the stores for the special buys of the first serious holiday shopping day. For them, being out and about at this hour was a special event.
It was special for me, as well. Only, it was special in a different way. Today was a chance to sleep in and still meet my training goals. Hitting the pool at 6 a.m. meant an extra hour of sleep, for me. And I didn't have to fight for parking. I avoided the crush of humanity fighting for that must have gift. In fact, the same group of people were at the pool swimming. And we didn't have to fight with the water aerobics class. They have the week off. Perhaps they were at the stores putting their skills to use in the checkout line.
Days like today show how skewed our priorities can get. Many of those in line long before the 5 a.m. store opening are the same people who question my getting up for 5 a.m. swim sessions. Health and wellness don't rate an early wakeup. Fifty percent off does.
So, many people ran the Christmas triathlon, today. They started with 90 minutes at Wal Mart with a quick transition to Target. After a sprint through that store, they shifted over for the marathon session at the mall, where they hit all the specialty stores. With any amount of luck, they got through without maxing out their credit cards. Many finished after only 6 hours. Others required much more time. And still others are still shopping as I type this.
As for me, I'm headed to bed. While the shopping spree is usually limited to the day after Thanksgiving, early wakeups continue to be routine in training.