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The morning routine that sets New York City's First Lady up for success

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As a writer, activist, mother and the First Lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray has a schedule that many people couldn't fathom juggling.

When she's not working alongside her husband, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, McCray is focused on her own work with pay equity, domestic violence and mental health. Like many other successful people with a busier-than-normal schedule, McCray sticks to a morning routine to set her up for success.

In an interview with The Cut, she explains how she wakes up every day between 6:30 and 7 a.m. to have coffee and eat either eggs or oatmeal for breakfast with her husband. Afterwards, she gets dressed for the gym and travels from her Upper East Side home to the YMCA in Park Slope, Brooklyn to work out for roughly an hour.

Bill de Blasio, New York City Mayoral candidate.
Timothy Clark | AFP | Getty Images
Bill de Blasio, New York City Mayoral candidate.

"I do the treadmill, the machine with the arms (I don't know what you call it), stretching, and some free weights," she says.

If McCray has meetings for the day at City Hall she will bring a change of clothes to the gym so she can head to those meetings right after. If not, she will head back home to Gracie Mansion in Manhattan and conduct her meetings from there.

While traveling to Brooklyn to workout daily may seem like an unnecessary hike, McCray says the commute serves as the downtime she needs to start her day.

"I take the papers with me or whatever I'm reading to prep for the day," she says. "But the ride also gives [me and my husband] time to talk and be together, and it's nice to go back to the neighborhood."

McCray adds that despite residing in Manhattan, she still goes to the pharmacy and dry cleaners in Brooklyn, which she explains as "very grounding."

"Because people know us and we're not a novelty to them, we don't get interrupted as often as we might if we went elsewhere," she says.

Many other successful leaders are adamant about the importance of exercise in their daily schedule. Oprah Winfrey says she does yoga and tries to get in at least 10,000 steps a day. Mark Cuban says he tries to get in an hour of cardio each day, and billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson wakes up at 5 a.m. every day to exercise.

"I seriously doubt that I would have been as successful in my career (and happy in my personal life) if I hadn't always placed importance on my health and fitness," Branson once wrote in a blog post.

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