My Ah-Ha Moment (At Last)?
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
As my last blog explained, I had a rough month in October. But so far, November seems to be looking up. And I am jumping the gun, but I decided to congratulate myself for the fact that things are looking up. Today, I did that in two ways. First, I spent some time just really playing with our dogs. I walk them a lot, I cuddle with them, I groom them… but rarely do I just PLAY with them. Most of the play they get comes from Hope2011 (who does a lot of walking and cuddling of the dogs too). I’m usually too busy trying to get work done for classes to play.
So today, they seemed a bit play-starved. I got down on the floor and just did whatever they wanted. Two of them wanted to run after their favorite toy, so I spent a lot of time throwing it as they rushed around the downstairs after the toy. They looked like old Looney Tunes dogs: a cloud of legs, tails, and tongues bouncing off of each other, never sure which way they were going. One of the dogs just wanted a rub-down, which I was glad to give. But our newest dog, Saavik, has not yet figured out how to play with us. So when she seemed like she might want to wrestle, I gave in. We tussled on the floor for a while—I think she might have been a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor in another life. And when we were all done playing, the girls seemed happy. And I was exhausted, but in a good way.
A little bit later, I felt like rewarding myself more. I broke out my bodhrán, and just played. I practiced my jig and reel patterns, and then sang a few old folk songs while I beat an appropriate rhythm. It was fun. I hadn’t done that in months, and I enjoyed the heck out of myself. And I noticed: I was breathing hard.
It was rather fun. It didn’t accomplish anything as far as I could tell, but I enjoyed myself. And then I realized: both activities took only about fifteen minutes and both activities raised my heart rate. That hits one of the main issues I have. I hate to exercise just for the sake of exercising. I hate the treadmill… when in real life are you just going to jog in place for half an hour? And the elliptical, while a good machine, is the most unnatural thing in the world. (I understand that I’m not being entirely consistent. After all, when is fencing going to actually be useful? But after all, “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” as Emerson said.) But playing with the dogs? Playing my bodhrán? Both of those things have a purpose, even if that purpose is just to make me happy.
So have I found my workout routine? I really don’t think so. I can’t honestly make playing with the dogs or playing my bodhrán into an actual exercise regimen. But what I can do is keep finding things that I have fun doing, and figure out how to put a bit of a cardio burn in with them. Exercise opportunities are all around me, and I just have to take hold of them. THAT was my “ah-ha” moment.