Mar 2, 2009

One reason to walk/run: dog sightings

So my first lesson today is to keep my camera handy when out and about to capture the moment. Instead, I'm trying to re-create the moment which is not nearly as fun or authentic. Nonetheless, here goes.

I was in the park over the weekend doing that 'walking really fast motion' otherwise known as running, and - to my absolute pleasure - there were many others taking part in similar outdoor activities, but with their dogs. Now, for context, here is a bit of personal information - I love puppies and adult dogs. I do not own a dog but I desperately want one. This is part of the reason I love seeing dogs and upon doing so, secretly will them to come over to me so I can pet them. In fact, part of the reason I run in the park is so I can live vicariously through dog owners walking with their four-legged best friend. Plus, being introduced to a dog is a great excuse to take a break from running or walking.

Now, back to the park. I was running on Saturday and a puppy named "Jessica" was off leash and decided to take up the challenge of running with me. I would have happily continued with my new running mate, however her owner - who was very apologetic at the running disruption - probably wouldn't have been okay with this. But this is not the first time a furry friend has provided an inspiring moment. Last fall, I was training with my running partner and a mid-sized dog tried to over take him on the hill. It was the funniest sight to see from behind - my friend passed the dog and the dog took off in an attempt to catch him; both of them started sprinting up the hill, and I think (despite what my partner may recall) the dog would have won that race had it not been for the owner calling for him to come back.

Motivation is a funny thing - it comes in many forms and it can also be easy to lose. But having a running / walking partner can help focus and harness that motivation, especially during times of doubt, busyness or even when life just gets in the way. The beauty of this is that it doesn't have to always be a person. Dogs make great friends and they can also help keep you mindful of the need for outdoor walks or runs. Now that's pretty inspiring.

What motivates you?

For interest sake, check out this video I found on YouTube. As mentioned at the beginning of this post, my goal is to capture my walking experience in photo or on video to share with you. Until then, I will thank those who are mindful to share such moments with others and use this video to capture some of the nostalgia from my park-walking weekend.

ps. If you smiled or even chuckled then I've succeeded in sharing the 'happy feeling' that can come from walking or running in the park. It's not the distance - it's what you discover along the way. Imagine what adventures are to be found from taking the first step.

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