All-Star Spotlight: Waking up is hard to do

Every Tuesday and Thursday in “All-Star Spotlight,” members of the ESPNHS All-Star team tackle a hot topic in high school sports. Today, Meredith Rizzo, a junior track and cross country star at Bronxville (N.Y.), kicks things off.

Agree or Disagree: The worst part of the day is waking up in the morning.

For me, the sound of an alarm clock is the most dreadful moment. You're drowsy, the room is cold, the sheets feel perfect, the bed is pure cozy and warm, and moving just doesn't seem like an option.

It also doesn't help that you probably got only a few hours of sleep. Teachers love to tell you have to go to bed early and get 9 hours of sleep every night. Very funny. They say this and then give a boatload of homework. So to combat this dreadful moment of the day, over the years I have mastered a simple three-step wake-up recipe that I would like to share.

1. The alarm system. I like to take my time in the morning to get ready, so I set three alarms. The first, on my alarm clock, goes off 1 hour and fifteen minutes before school starts. This helps me start to wake up, but not actually get up. It gives me time to stay in bed for those precious minutes before embracing the cold morning. Second, I requested a sibling alarm. My sister, the early bird in our family, is usually up before me, so I asked her to get me up one hour before school (assuming I’m still in bed). If all else fails, my third alarm, my phone, goes off 1 hour before school.

Now don’t think I’m crazy. Not everyone needs three alarms. But it's sure safe to have reliable backups. No one likes those mornings when you wake up and only have 15 minutes to get ready. We've all been there!

2. Eat up. Some people prefer not eat breakfast because they're not hungry, they wake up late, or they just plain don’t like breakfast food. Trust me on this one. We athletes need it. Not only does it give us energy, but if I don’t get enough breakfast, I get distracted during class by my stomach’s loud moans and groans. If I’m running late, I at least grab a granola bar to munch on my way to school. I’m also a tea junkie and have a mug of English Breakfast every morning. I prefer tea over coffee because it has less caffeine and gives me the perfect boost that I need. If I had coffee and its high caffeine, I would be bouncing off the walls during my first class and asleep by the second!

3. Last, but not least, music!A good, upbeat morning playlist puts me in such a good mood. Sometimes, if the song is right (which is likely all of them) I go ahead and have a mini dance party with myself in my room. It’s a great stress reliever. I even sing, though I don’t sound very good. It’s a nice way to clear my head for a few minutes by focusing on something other than school, and it gives me that final boost to wake me up before I hit the books.