Friday, March 18, 2016

An Inside Look

5:13 AM

Bleary-eyed, I shuffle into the kitchen to fix a single cup of coffee. Moments later, the Bunn coffee maker hisses life, pushing a cup of near boiling water through coarse coffee grounds.

I take it black, dark enough that I can easily spot the crows feet near my eyes as I lift the mug to my face. They're getting darker, more pronounced.

My fourteen year old dog, Emmy, has roused from sleep. She used to get up right away when she'd hear me walking around. She's been slowing down more lately. I suspect that her hearing is going. Apart from that, and her whitened face, you wouldn't know she was fourteen. Her frequent bouts of playfulness, and wrestling with me, belie the senior dog that she is.

Emmy waits for me at the edge of the kitchen, then escorts me to the dining room table where I take a seat. She plops down on the floor next to me.

As I gather up to take a sip of the inky goodness, I mentally scan the day ahead: a one hour conference call with the offshore team at 6:00AM, followed by picking up Katherine from her night shift, walking the dog, then commuting in to work by bike and bus. From there, back-to-back mid-morning meetings will bring me to 11AM. The only other work commitment is a 2:00 PM meeting. That gives me enough time for an hour workout over lunch, which according to the TrainingPeaks calendar feed, is a set of five nine-minute functional threshold efforts with 2.5 mins of rest between. I visualize a crisp spring wind in my face as my legs burn with lactic acid while driving the big ring of my road bike around the airport's service road.

I'm invigorated by the the thought of it.

A wisp of steam rises from the mug, bringing me back to the moment. Emmy rolls gently to her side and stretches all four paws at once, back arched, head extended. She lets out a satisfying sigh. I reach down and give her belly a rub. She thumps her tail a few times in approval. I take another draw of coffee.

I'm enjoying the solitude before the the onslaught of the day begins.

After finishing my cup, I stand and cluck my tongue. Emmy perks up, head titled to one side.

"You wanna go for a walk?" I ask while signaling my intent with both hands in American sign.

Emmy hops up on a fours, shakes vigorously, then runs towards the back door. I grab a light jacket and her leash from the peg.

"Let's go!"

The day has begun.

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