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  • Writer's pictureAustin

The Case for Commitment

I didn't want to run in the dark this morning... in fact, I didn't want to run at all this morning.

It's the first real cold snap we've had in La Crosse this winter, and when I opened the door to let Kili outside, the blast of frigid air was a bit more than I expected. Don't get me wrong, I like winter, I would take -10° over 100° any day, but this morning it was a bit much.

I looked at my phone, Mike had texted last night, and I'm just now seeing it. "AM run?" It's still early...I'd have time to text him back, throw on a few layers, and meet him at the track at 5. I know I'd be there if I would have done that. If i just committed and told him I'd be there, I wouldn't have had a choice, but I'm just not feeling it. I could say I'm not feeling well, or I could wait an hour and text him saying I overslept, but it's easier to just not respond (sorry Mike...)

I try to justify the day off, I've got a bit of a cough, but let's be honest...I'm not sick. Hmm, maybe I could tell myself I'm sore from my ski yesterday, but everyone knows my dog does all the work. Maybe I'll go this afternoon, it should warm up, right? Apparently for the first time in human history, it's actually going to get colder as the day goes on...

I go to let the pup back inside, yep, still cold. She glances at me, wondering what the plan is, curious if she should hop back to her spot on the couch, or strap her vest on and get ready for a run. I shake my head, "not this morning girl".

I'm checking my emails, scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, catching up on things over a cup of coffee, and telling myself I'll go at dawn, catch a sunrise from the bluffs, take it easy, and just enjoy the run, but I'm still not entirely committed.

It's creeping up at 6:30, I'm starting to kick myself because I know that if I went with Mike I would have been done by now. Not much has changed, I still don't want to run, but at least I wouldn't need a headlamp if I went now, right?

It's starting to happen again, and I'm not even conscious of it, but I'm justifying skipping my run. It's cold...I don't want to GET sick, but like clockwork Kili hops off the couch and walks into my office.

She's got the crunchy toy, my least favorite, I'm pretty sure Pat can hear the damn thing from his room upstairs. She's looking at me, knowing that if she makes enough noise, I'll be forced to either play with her, or let her outside again. "Alright fine, let's go outside" I walk to the door and grab her stunt puppy vest off the rack. It's like flicking a switch, she goes from mellow to berserk in .001 seconds flat. That's all it takes, as soon as I put her vest on, I'm committed to the run. In fact, I'm pretty sure she'd bite me if I took it off before we got in at least a few miles.

Long story short, I got out the door, and got my run in. As always, after the first five minutes of running, I was enjoying myself. Sure it was tough to get out the door, but it's like that sometimes, as all of you know.

Sometimes all it takes is flipping a switch, for me, it's just letting my dog know we're going. It would've been easier if I did it earlier and ran with Mike, and maybe I'll do that next week...but I can't commit to that.

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