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Rise And Shine

Throughout my football career coaches often talked about setting the tone at the beginning of the game. And like football, life is about starting off strong.

Almost every morning I hear my college defensive coordinator's voice bellow through my mind.

"We have to go out there and set the tone early. Smack them in the mouth and let them know you mean business!"

Now that my football career has passed, I apply coach's tone-setting mantra to daily life. Each day we have an opportunity to win or lose--to make our lives better or stagnate and eventually slide backward. We can either smack or be smacked--there is no in between.

To start strong, and prime to attack your day, you need a system that rallies your inner troops and sets the tone for achievement. You need a motivating morning routine.

The Routine

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Chug and Roll
Every night before you go to bed, fill a large glass with water and place it on your night stand. Leave it there for the morning. After you get up--and walk across the room to turn off your alarm clock--chug the glass of water. In doing so, you'll give your metabolism a nice start and stay on the upside of the hydration curve.

On the same night stand where you keep your water you'll store your golf ball. As soon as you finish chugging, put the golf ball on the floor and roll each foot hard and fast for a minute. Be sure to give tender spots extra attention.

Our feet carry us through life--we have to take care of them. Plus there are around 150 nerve endings in the bottom of our feet. Rolling our plantar fascia first thing in the morning is fantastic for rousing the nervous system.

Take a Stroll
There's no coincidence that morning and movement are alliterative--each morning must be filled with movement. Once you've finished rolling your feet, lace up your shoes and get outside for a walk--moving at a brisk pace for five to ten minutes. Research has shown that movement soon after waking sets the metabolic tone for the rest of the day.

Early morning locomotion builds upon plantar rolling's effect on the nervous system. You'll feel yourself start to wake up as your feet start moving. This is the perfect time to collect your thoughts and take perspective on the day ahead. When the feet start moving, the brain starts working.

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The morning is your body's natural detox time--it purges your system of all the nasty toxins our environment, and our habits, expose us to. Although detoxification is a natural function, there's nothing wrong with giving the body a little help.

Start by drinking a glass of warm lemon water. Take half the juice of a lemon--fresh squeezed, of course, and add it to warm water. If you need sweetener, add stevia or a small amount of honey. Lemons, and all sour fruits, contain the compound d-limonene--a natural liver tonic. Good liver function promotes the solid function of all other human systems.

Take your detox to the next level by supplementing with ProSource's Super Detox. It contains herbal compounds that support endocrine function, scavenge free-radicals and, like d-limonene, support the liver.

You're A-game requires optimal functioning. If you're carrying around excess toxin baggage, optimal is unattainable.

Recently, there's been a surprising and counter-intuitive fad regarding breakfast. Articles in some muscle-building mags have been suggesting a morning fast instead, claiming breakfast is detrimental to mental acuity and physique goals. This is pure poppycock. Breakfast is still a good thing.

More than simple common sense, breakfast is about solidifying good habits and endorsing healthy routine. It's about taking the time to nourish your body before exposing it to the rigors that fill each day.

Think of breakfast as your pre-game meal. I know that my coaches never would have sent our team on to the field without sustenance. You shouldn't attack your day without it.

Keep breakfast filled with lean protein and healthy fat sources and you'll start your day sharp and satisfied.

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Stoke the Fire
At this point in the morning you'll have a furnace burning in your belly. It's time to throw two more logs on the fire.

Some coaches abhor stimulants. I disagree with these coaches--stimulants are productive and, for the most part, safe ergogenic aids. B ioQuest's new Zycor fat-loss/energy catalyst has been getting raves from within the bodybuilding community, and there's good reason for that. Zycor's ultra-bioactive, premium-grade energy factors are just the thing to get your day started. (And it's fat-loss mechanism comes in handy, too.) Likewise, ProSource's Extreme Caffeine is a great for ramping your furnace into a five alarm blaze. Caffeine coupled with ProSource's L-Tyrosine promotes intense and extended focus. You'll need it to mount your attack.

After you sharpen your gaze with caffeine and L-Tyrosine, take a few minutes to ingest a motivating quote. Peruse one of the many quote sites on the web or find one in one of your favorite books. Hold this quote in your mind for the rest of the day; and when it seems like the chips are down, conjure it to the forefront of your mind and fight off the weariness.

In lieu of a long conclusion, I'll defer to a profound quote from Mother Teresa. 

"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come.
Today is all we have. Let us begin."

 Go set the tone and make today incredible.