Friday, January 8, 2010

Squirrel!


The dog needs a reason to go out. That's not a metaphor. I do, in fact, mean our dog. The morning routine started out routinely enough. I get up; the dog eventually gets up, generally when she hears me fiddling with the front door to go out and pick up the newspaper. She meets me at the other door, the magic door, the sliding door that goes to the fenced-in back yard, ready to perform her morning ablutions and search for adventure. I slide it open.

And that's where it veers from the script. It's cold out. There's half a foot of new snow. Zoey looks up at me as if to ask what the hell I've done with her yard, and turns her tail to the door to go wait a while for some kind of stronger motivation.

If you ask me, a bladder containing a night's production of piss is motivation enough, but Zoey's got one that goes up to her ears, apparently, with the p.s.i. tolerance of a scuba tank. Motivation does come eventually. Later in the day, when it's light and the squirrels come out, she can't go through that door soon enough. Or often enough.

I can relate. My bladder's not much to brag about, not that I'd want that to be my top résumé item anyway now that I'm not applying for a lot of long-range fighter-interceptor-pilot jobs, and I'm content to live and let live where wildlife is concerned. But yesterday, at the beginning of the big snowstorm and the last few minutes of daylight, I couldn't bring myself to run outdoors. That wasn't a motivation issue. That was a smarts issue. The motivation issue was about the treadmill. A 7-mile run outdoors isn't much at this point in my life, at least not at the 8:15 per mile my plan called for. Seven miles on a treadmill is interminable at any pace.

And this is why I race. Say all you want about all men being created equal, but some people's genetics are better than others', and a lot of athletes' genetics are better than mine. If I'm in line for any athletic success at all, it's going to have to be because of hard training and taste for misery. And a desire not to get beat to the line by someone who just may have gotten there on sloth and talent.

So I guess that line about the dog being motivated by squirrels was a metaphor after all. Hope it holds, because later today I've got to run 5 at tempo, and the roads won't be clear or safe any too soon.

6 comments:

Jim Smith II said...

Learn to love the treadmill Jef...

Noel said...

Have you tried hanging a squirrel in front of the treadmill? I use to have a Van Halen tape that I used to use to get me through a session on the rollers back in the days of Walkman. Now I set 'em up in the TV room and yell at the idiots on "reality" shows. It's just like a road ride.

Jesse said...

That is my single favorite Frazz strip of all time! My family motto is now that we don't have ADD, we have undiagnosed ADHLAS...

Steve said...

I think the bladder capacity is tied to the length of the dogs' legs. The shorter the dog, the larger the bladder...at least it works that way in our two dog house.

Purplestate said...

The weather here in DC has been miserable for running as well -- 16mi NS tomorrow -- at least the snow didn't stick! I think 5mi is possible on the treadmill,though -- less than 45 minutes? /silly french cajun accent: You can DO EEEET!

:p

Anonymous said...

In your Jan 10th strip, Frazz will never be able to put the CFL in the socket since the CFL is in the bulb holder upside down!!

Otherwise great strip, first read of the morning.