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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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SUMTHINGZEN
    emoticon

    Such a blast when you find a cardio activity that is fun... a non-routine treat that helps the journey is well worth exploring. And the 'Play' time serve many a much greater purpose too, just in reducing stress levels if nothing else.

    Gotta agree with you on the treadmill- My wife likes the ellipticals, but for an even worse UN-natural exerciser, check out the 'ryder style' machines of the early 90's... a wonky gravity resisted row/bike cross... it does give a cardio workout, working legs, upper arms, and lower back mainly... and of course our home gym currently consists of a ryder, a treadmill, and an Olympic weight bench... the old elliptical and bike died quite a while back.
    2949 days ago
  • CANDOK1260
    WHAT IS A bodhrán ? 2ND WALKING AND PLAYING WITH THE DOG CAN BE EXERCISE BUT WHAT ABOUT YOUR WII THE CAN BE FUN TOO?
    2950 days ago
  • HOPE2011
    Good for you, Sweetie! You're right about opportunities all around us, which is great news! Keep up the good work! emoticon emoticon
    2950 days ago
  • SUSUSUZZZIE
    I'm happy to hear November is looking up, especially with Hope2011's awesome news.

    I know what you mean about playing with the dogs. I've gotten back in the habit of just playing with them periodically during the day. They love it - and their eyes are so bright and happy AND aftewards, as a bonus, they sleep like...dogs.

    Way to do a few things just for the fun of it. We all need to have "play time" from time to time.

    Wishing you and awesome rest of November!
    2951 days ago
  • SKYWATCHERRS
    Cool! Do you play with a Celtic band - isn't a bodhran an Irish drum? I'm so glad for your a-ha moment and that you enjoyed yourself so thoroughly.
    2951 days ago
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