My Morning Routine With Mark Blackstone
This month we caught up with 57-year-old Mark Blackstone and asked him to share his morning routine with us. Mark is a full-time Sports Therapist and runs a clinic based in Exeter. He lives in Ottery St Mary.
Mark, tell us about your morning routine:
It’s funny even being asked that question because when I actually take time to think about my morning routine in detail I’m thinking, “Yes I really am OCD, competing and all the rest of it from the moment the day begins. ‘Zero crack sparra’ as I call it”.
It’s an ex-military thing. I believe it’s healthy to ‘wake up slow,’ my alarm clock is purely a safety net, as no matter what time I plan to get up, I automatically wake and switch it off 10 to 15 minutes before it sounds…Yep, victory number one and no need for the snooze!
Next up, I check for bathroom spiders and then it’s the cold water treatment in the sink, head and face in. It always wakes me right up and it works especially well in the winter. Then it’s curtains open, devices on to allow for incoming (but no checking or action yet). Then ‘slobbies’ on before getting onto my mat on the lounge floor for the daily ritual 45 minute mobilising and stretching session. This also doubles up as a meditation period for me where I think through and plan the day and reflect on the previous. No distraction, nothing. OK just one. Yorkshire Tea, you know it makes sense.
I check emails or media messages before the highlight of my morning, The Big Breakfast! My brekkie is sacrosanct, a monster meal, and I would get very grumpy if ever I had to miss it, in fact, all this planning is in place to prevent that happening. I’ll put the last few things into my rucksack, including the lunch I prepped the night before, then head off to work..happy of course!
About that ‘Big Breakfast’ tell us what that involves, Mark:
Here it is, ‘The Breakfast’. More Yorkshire Tea, it really does make sense to me. One very large bowl of Scott’s porridge with added chopped banana, mixed nuts including almonds and walnuts, blueberries and rounded off with a small dose of evaporated milk (good for when the sun isn’t shining). Then a thin slice of toasted wholemeal with crunchy peanut butter. If anyone ever comes to stay, please don’t undercook my toast! Then, last up, uncooked spinach leaves with either burger, sausage or a small omelette. All this makes me very happy and I don’t need to eat again for five or six hours. I often wonder how people survive half a day on just a cup of coffee.
Tell us about any technology that you use in the morning:
I’ve never been one for technology and its draw but I have to admit that I’ve had to learn it for business and I’m definitely much better now and quite enjoy it. In the mornings I’ll switch my home laptop on first thing and just let it wind up for an hour or so before actually doing anything on it. Mine is almost antique but it still works if I give it some space to breathe. I like the social media thing but tend to use it less now. I think the usual platforms, Facebook, Instagram etc will be replaced by the next new thing, the same as what happened to my first online experience of ‘Myspace’.
Talk us through your commute to work:
My commute to and from work is my time to switch on or off from work and I go through phases of wanting to listen to music or total quiet, usually the latter. In the car, I’ll switch on the radio but if after some channel hopping there is nothing instantly playing that I like, it’s off. I’ll often drive in but quite like to bus it in sometimes (P&R) for a change and my spot is the top deck at the front. I’m actually thinking about getting a decent bike and riding in as an extra option.
What are the first things that do when you get to work?
My first job is to open up, let the light and fresh air in and prep for my first client of the day. I always like to arrive at least half an hour before my first customer and plan the session. My clients inspire me, I feed off of that and once I’m rolling, I’m on it. One thing I always do is arrange my diary to leave a space to train. When the day is done I leave the place spotless and set up ready for the first client the next day, everything is in order and then it’s time for that journey home!