I Love hiking, mountaineering, climbing, mountain biking, and generally being outside. Naturally, I’ve tried to shape my life to maximize the amount of time I have to spend doing the things I’m passionate about. However, since I’ve still got a 9-5 (and then some) job, sometimes you have to get creative. For me, that often means doing crazy stuff in the mornings, before most people even start work.

People often wonder if I “have a real job” or how I spend “so much time” adventuring. The truth is, it took some adjustments. Going from college to the typical 9–5 and then trying to fit in weekday adventures took a while to get right. Much of that came in the form of training myself to get up earlier and function on less sleep. But at the end of the day, most of it came down to deciding how important it was for me to be doing these things, and changing my lifestyle to support that. And a good alarm clock.

Here are a couple tips to maximize your AM adventures.

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GET UP EARLY

I mean, really early. There’s no great way around this. You want to do a 10-mile hike before work? It’s doable, you just need to start at 4 am. For me, it’s worth it. Now, you may not need to get up THAT early, but it’s the best way to give yourself more time in the day.

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USE YOUR EVENINGS

Your morning adventures don’t need to start at home. Save time by planning ahead and sleeping at the trailhead. If I don’t have to drive anywhere when I wake up, that’s either extra time for sleep or for the hike. Have your stuff ready to go the night before, your backpack packed, water filled, etc. Those little things add up in the morning and can de-motivate you to get moving.

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LIVE CLOSE

My “morning excursions” when I lived in San Francisco were limited to quick runs around Sutro Forest and the occasional trip out to Marin to get some mountain biking in. Moving to Boulder means that all manner of activities are exponentially closer. A trail run in Chautauqua Park, a quick solo of the Second Flatiron or a hike up any of the five peaks in my backyard can easily be completed before breakfast. And even more trailheads are within an hour’s drive.

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