On most mornings, Stacy Cavagnaro starts her day at 4:3O a.m. While first practicing the transition into an early bird, she dreaded her wake-up call but now claims it to be the best part of her day.
“It’s easy to get up when I know how good it feels to get moving and swear first thing,” she says.
Before arriving at her job as a Registered Dietitian specializing in intestinal rehabilitation and transplant, many mornings she’s leading a group of dedicated riders in a 6 a.m. class at harness cycle Downtown.
“The feeling that is created in that dark, candlelit room is electric. The ability to move together, to work through the day, to create that vulnerability, is what it’s all about to me,” Stacy says.
A health and outdoor recreation enthusiast, Stacy was first attracted to becoming a Harness instructor as a way to combine two of her great loves: movement and coaching. She’s been leading the pack since June.
The feeling that is created in that dark, candlelit room is electric. The ability to move together, to work through the day, to create that vulnerability, is what it’s all about to me.
“I wanted to contribute to that inclusive experience harness provides, where riders can feel welcome, supported, and capable, whether it’s ride number 1 or 1OO,” she says. “I aim to facilitate that experience of a fast-paced, sweat-dripping, heart-racing, breathless workout, while finding mindfulness, a supportive community, and empowerment to take on life outside the studio.”
So, how does Stacy get her mind and body in the right place before not just participating in a spin class, but leading it? She sets her intentions. In addition to setting her alarm between 4:3O-5 a.m., she commits to not hitting the snooze button and immediately making her bed. This simple task—what she considers a ‘gamechanger’—offers one immediate accomplishment for the day and welcomes more. After that, coffee, of course!
“I take my coffee to the couch and take some time for myself,” she says. “I used to be in a routine of immediately checking Instagram and turning on the news, but I’ve realized that these things don’t put me in a great headspace.”
I aim to facilitate that experience of a fast-paced, sweat-dripping, heart-racing, breathless workout, while finding mindfulness, a supportive community, and empowerment to take on life outside the studio.
Instead, Stacy takes time to journal, read, or watch a light-hearted TV show as a way to clear space before filling her day, and making sure to also fuel it with a balanced breakfast. Her go-to? Protein pancakes. Her sweet-but-healthy recipe is high in protein, fiber, and carbohydrates to keep energy levels up during her active mornings on the bike. See her full recipe here.
Ever dreamed of squeezing an hour or two more out of your day? Here are Stacy’s personal tips for structuring her day to start earlier and accomplish more:
On Sundays, I prep all of my breakfasts and lunches for the week and portion them out into containers so I can grab and go each morning
In the evenings, I set out my workout clothes for the next morning and have a bag packed on the days I go right to work so I don’t have to waste time and energy making any decisions in the morning
I set an alarm for 9:15 each night to remind myself to get to bed. This prevents me from mindlessly staying up later than I need to. At least 7 hours of sleep is a must for me.
I look at my week ahead and schedule all of my workouts ahead of time. Once they hit that Google calendar, I’ve made a commitment to myself that I know I must stick to.
Make a date with a friend. Having someone hold you accountable is huge. If you know they are waking up early and relying on you, it’s easier to make it happen. Having people around you that inspire you and support you can give you the extra excitement and push.
Don’t hit snooze. Just don’t!