Thursday, August 30, 2007

Exercise: It's for the Dogs

(This post is related to writing. Really. Sort of. Just bear with me.)

Yesterday, I started a 30 minute walking routine with our dogs. Okay, it's not routine yet, but I plan on making it one. I should have done it sooner, as we all need to move our copious butts more often. Bailey is a black lab/border collie cross with lots of energy. She requires several rounds of chase the ball during the day to keep her from getting stir crazy. Any time, any weather. Why she is not the svelte canine she ought to be is a mystery. Yes, we've had her thyroid and such checked. No, she doesn't eat more than our other dog, Holly (a rottweiler/golden retriever--that's her picture there. I'll get one of Bailey on here as an "after" shot. She's a bit embarrassed by her current state of--ahem--thickness.). Granted, we don't exercise her as much as she needs, but she shouldn't be as "big boned" as she is.

It's scary how Bailey and I have the same problems--thyroid's fine, eating no more than most, big bones. And since neither of us is keen on dieting, the solution is to move. Hence, our new "walkies" program.

We walk the kids down to the bus stop then go for a 15 minute jaunt along the highway. It's a highway in name only. With one lane in each direction, sporadic traffic, and a nice wide shoulder, it's probably one of the safest roads around. The highway follows a huge lake and is bordered by green, woodsy foothills. Other than the potential to meet a bear, it's quite lovely. At the 15 minute mark, we turn around and head home, feeling the twinge of under-used muscles reawakening.

So how is this related to writing? Though fine companions, dogs aren't much help in that department. But the walking is important to my routine. My life as a writer lends itself to two unhealthy pitfalls: being sedentary and lacking contact with the outside world. You see, up until we moved, I'd go to the gym 3 or 4 mornings a week. This got me healthier (though I never lost more than a few pounds I did have a better cholesterol count and lower blood pressure, and I felt great) and it was a chance to socialize with other members. After working out, I'd go home and get my day of writing started. Physical exercise and human companionship prepared me for the mental tasks ahead.

But since moving, I haven't seen the inside of a gym. Okay, that's not quite true. I looked in the window of the local recreation center and saw their weight room. I have a DVD and some odd looking ring someone gave me for a pilates workout, but I have yet to pop the thing into the player. Maybe I will when the weather is too nasty to walk. Though I doubt the dogs will find it as pleasurable as walking, even in the rain.

I still need to get more human contact to keep me sane. That will probably come with volunteering at school. Eventually. I'm not quite ready for jumping into that fray, as I'm still reveling in the absence of kid-sounds in my day. Let's not push it, 'kay?

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At 6:39 AM, Blogger Writer & Cat said...

I went on a walk with the baby the other day. I never could do that with #1 because she hated the stroller with a fire of demonic origin.

Jody W.

At 1:57 PM, Blogger Meretta said...

I'm glad to hear you're settling back into a routine that's just for you. Good stuff, Cathy. :) Keep up the great work and you know snowshoeing is a great work out, too. ;)

At 6:54 PM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

Jody, I applaud you for braving what could only have been marginally tolerant temperatures. Well, for me anyway : ) Good for you! Fire of demonic origin, eh? That must have been one big hissy fit when she saw the stroller.

Thanks, Meretta. It feels good to get out. I haven't been snowshoeing since leaving Fairbanks 20-odd years ago. AS I recall, even as a 20-something, fit college student it was a killer work out. I doubt this 40-something old body could take bending over to get the shoes on, let alone actually locomoting with them!


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