These days when the alarm goes off at 5:01AM it is dark, really dark. I take a deep breath and think, "Rule # 5." I get dressed and go outside to get in a run before work. The cool air slaps my face and I start my run. I almost shuffle as I get started; my limbs still asleep. Before long it all loosens up and I pick up speed.
I am pretty proud of myself about this time. I'm out and sweating before everyone else's alarm goes off. I think I am dedicated. I'm a star.
Then as I go past the assisted living facility I see them. The real dedicated ones. They are out in the rain, in the dark, in the fog and even in the snow. Some are sitting, some are in wheelchairs and other are stooping, leaning on a telephone pole for support. They are there at 5:15 in the morning and, as in the photo above, at six in the evening. Any time of the day or night that I go by there are out there by the ash tray. They won't be denied. They need their cigarettes and nothing, and I mean nothing, is going to stop them. Oxygen tubes in their noses and a smoke protruding from their shriveled face. You have to admire it. That my friends is dedication.