Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dressing for success

"90% of life is just showing up" - Woody Allen

While I have always agreed with Woody's quote and even repeated the quote to my students on many occasions, yesterday taught me that maybe the sentiment is a little too simplistic.

First you have to get dressed.

Then, you may need to encourage yourself along the way. Possibly many times.

Yesterday was a murky day. I wasn't feeling great. I've been battling a nagging infection that just isn't responding to antibiotics and an annoying headache that seems to accompany it. No big deal but enough that my normal energy and enthusiasm were lacking. After spending the early morning in the studio, it was time to run some errands and go running.

I didn't feel like running. It was understandable. I had a good excuse. But, since I had errands to run anyway, I had the possibility of running on the Centennial Trail...even running my favorite route since one of my errands took me out that direction. So I told myself to dress for running. What if I was on the errand, all the way out near the trailhead, and was suddenly filled with the zest for running? If I wasn't dressed I'd be irritated with myself.

So I got dressed in my running clothes, filled my water bottle, stuffed Kleenex in my pocket, (didn't want to allow myself any excuses to not run), got my running dog ready to go and headed out. I took care of the errands first. On the final errand I told myself I still didn't feel like running.

But I was dressed! I was almost there! Sprecka expected it!

"OK", I tell myself, "We can just walk a bit".

Once there, I got the dog ready, locked the car and immediately regretted the whole thing. It was cold. I didn't have gloves. My hands were frozen.

"Just run to the next mile marker", I told myself, "Sprecka hasn't run for a week. She needs it".

I start running. I'm cold. My fingers hurt. It's incredibly deserted. Even with Sprecka, the wonder dog, I am uncomfortable with the feeling of isolation.

"Just run to the next mile marker", I tell myself.

We run to the next mile marker. "Let's run a little farther", I tell myself. We keep running. Two miles into the run, I notice my fingers feel warm, I see some people on the trail. We exchange greetings as we pass. I realize my pace is pretty good and I feel even better. By the time I reach 4 miles, I've done a personal best for the season.

I finally broke the 11 minute per mile barrier! OK, so it took me until October but who cares? It was a great run.

And I almost didn't go. Several times.

Gives a whole new context to the phrase "dressing for success".

I took some photos later of some unassuming weeds that I have great plans for. Here they are.


  1. Congratulations! A personal best is wonderful- anytime. And your run illustrates a wonderful ism- Big achievements often happen when we least expect them. Please keep running the Centennial Trail- I love the nature pictures.

  2. You are an inspiration, pal of mine.