Thursday, July 19, 2007

My New Personal Trainer

About 6 weeks ago I went to the local family practice physician (at Prairiewolf's request) to have my blood pressure checked out. To make a long story short(er), the doc recommended the typical "walk for 30 minutes every day," which I knew I should be doing but somehow never managed to accomplish on a regular basis. About two weeks ago I finally quit procrastinating and, with our German Shepherd, Becker, as a companion, I hit the road, walking about half an hour each day for a couple mornings in a row.

A couple mornings was all it took. It turns out that Becker is a strong "J" (to use the Meyers-Brigg personality profile terminology). That means he likes his routines...ah, no, that means he craves his routines. Within those "couple" days, he had decided that this morning walk thing was a GREAT addition to his morning rituals.

Becker is an extremely talented nag. Obviously he can't say anything, but his body language is unmistakeable: "Okay, Mom, time to get up" (cold nose nudge in face, whine, whine). "Okay, Mom, time to get dressed" (hopeful look back upstairs, dancing feet if I head even slightly in that direction). "Okay, Mom, time to go outside" (alert stance, whine, whine, dancing feet when I pass near the door). "O boy, Mom! Now you're talking!" (dancing happy dance as we go out the door).

Do you know how hard it is to ignore a 110+ pound German Shepherd?

Any thoughts I now have of occasionally skipping this morning walk are not about to be least not by Becker. It doesn't matter what the weather is. It doesn't matter if I'm feeling groggy from allergy meds or from an interrupted night of sleep. It doesn't matter if my feet hurt because I stood on them all day the day before. We ARE going walking every morning. And we ARE going walking as soon as he can nag me to get out the door. No lolligagging is permitted.

It irritates the living daylights out of me, especially when I've been up half the night and sleep is seductively calling my name after Prairiewolf has left in the morning, but some taskmasters are simply inescapable.

Once I get outside and on the road, though, I'm usually glad we came. Becker settles down right beside me, ears slightly back, nose quivering, eyes scanning, panting as he contentedly pads along the side of the road. I notice the wildflowers blooming in the ditches and the birds singing in the fields. (The dickcissels have been particularly vocal lately.) Becker notices the roadkills. We both do our own versions of neighborhood watch.

Back at home once again, I have to laugh. Some people actually PAY for personal trainers. For better or worse, I've got mine living with me 24/7...and he WILL NOT be ignored.


Anonymous said...

Awesome! So how long before you're coming running with me?

Gaia Gardener: said...


I hear, though, that you're getting pretty impressive. 6 miles?!!! Speaking of awesome....