Patrick Fellows is a 5 time Ironman, TEDx giving, 32 miles swimming, endurance coaching, healthy cooking, entrepreneur and musician.  Born in Dearborn, MI, raised in Mississippi and a Louisianian for 30 years, 

4-5 a.m.


It Saturday morning and the smell of strong coffee emanates from my kitchen. My dogs hear me and await breakfast. All is quiet. All is at peace and I own the morning.  

I’ve been getting up early for 20 years. Even when I was in college and would stay up and out until 3 am, I’d be the first one in my house up.  Usually by 8-9 a.m.  There is truth to being wired a “morning person”.

Until this year, most early mornings started at 5:00. I’d get up. Grab a quick bite and head out the door to train in some way. I still do that. If you don’t do it, you should try sometime. There’s a calm that falls over a city between 4 and 5 a.m.  it’s the time where even the late night people are asleep and the morning people aren’t up. You can run down the middle of what would be a busy street and it’s glorious. 

Since January I’ve used a chunk of this time to write. My training has suffered but my brains have not. I find myself wishing that there was an extra hour. 3-4 to drink coffee and think, 4-5 to write, 5-7 to train. Alas, that’s idiocy. Even I’m not getting up at 3 on purpose every day. 

As 5-6 approaches I can actually feel the anxiety of my days build. Maybe it’s the pot of coffee, maybe it just starts as a slow burn and the caffeine fuels the fire, but regardless, by 6, the peace is mostly gone and the todo list beckons. From 4-6 I believe today will be the day that I change. At 6:27 I know that I probably won’t. This is at the same time okay and infuriating. 

4 a.m. me is a super hero. 7 a.m. me is the flawed tail chaser. At 5 a.m. I eat mileage on the roads and further clear the fog from my brain. By 9:00 I’m not sure what I’m doing next. 

Maybe that’s why I love the early mornings. Because anything is possible in the dark quiet. Because, life moves slow. Because improving happens in plain sight and change is visible. 

Because even the dogs rest easy. 


The 48th year