Friday, February 8, 2013


That's a $5 word for ya - commitment. It's one of my favorite words.

In life, each day, we have lots of opportunities to commit. There are oodles of decisions we make, day in, day out ... and each requires some level of commitment.

This week, for example, I have made the following commitments:

  • That stop light at the corner of 34 and Orchard? The light turned yellow as I approached, but I'd already committed to going through. I did not run the red, but it was leaning toward orange by the time I crossed. If I'd slammed on the brakes this morning, there's a better-than-even chance I would have slid through on a thin veil of ice. I made the right commitment.
  • Lunch? Lots of options. I was stuck between the pear and brie salad, and the caprese panini. In order to help the line move along, I committed to the panini. (And I'm damn glad I did, to tell you the truth!)
  • Wednesday night at the gym, I had seven miles on my training plan. It was speedwork, which meant I was to do the following: 
    • Jog slowly for a one-mile warm-up.
    • Jog a little faster for a half mile.
    • Run at a specific pace for one mile.
    • Jog for a half mile.
    • Run at the previous specific pace for one mile.
    • Jog for a half mile.
    • Run at the previous specific pace for one mile.
    • Jog for a half mile.
    • Jog slowly for one mile. 
    • I started out feeling strong, so I ran my run/walk intervals (which I call "race-day practice") for the first six miles. And that's when I began to waver. "Self," I said, "you can just walk the last mile; after all, you've already done more at the specific pace than the plan required." But I wasn't buying it. Why? Because I'd committed to the run.
Commitment. It matters. Whatever you do, do it because you are committed to it. In relationships, be committed to the other person. (This works whether it's a romantic relationship or not; be committed to all those who matter to you - friends, spouses, co-workers, children, pets, etc. They all deserve commitment.) If you feel strongly about taking care of yourself (and I hope you do), commit to it. Want to be really good at your job? Start with commitment.

I can't recall of a single time excellence was achieved through half-assed commitment, can you?