You think this is an odd topic to discuss on a fitness/strength/nutrition website, but it ties into everything we preach.
My wife and I live in downtown Kansas City, MO. We don’t have a backyard and we live in a high rise. I love where we live because it affords us city amenities, close driving time to everything we need, and close to dozens and dozens of great bars and restaurants.
Unfortunately for my dog, Lily, she doesn’t have a backyard to run around it, blow off energy, and for us to play together.
We have dog parks close by, but people are hesitant about a Pitbull being around their dogs and I am considerate enough to understand that. She is a friendly pup, but I can’t change someone’s bias.
Lily doesn’t seem to care, anyone’s perception of her isn’t her fault, she will still lick the hell out of whoever wants to pet her and her infectious smile and joyful look attracts plenty of attention.
- Don’t let anyone define your self-perception. You answer to you, you control you, and you are your own steering wheel.
When it’s time for us to take her out for her long walks around various parts of the city; places like Westport, The Plaza, Downtown Power and Light, Parkville Park, etc.. She is excited, she knows, and as soon as I put her harness on her anticipation is at a high. The bounce in her step is addictive as you can’t help but be happy just to know your dog is happy to be with you. She enjoys being with her people.
- Enjoy your family and friends. Don’t take people in your life for granted.
We are outside, we keep a solid pace, she stops to greet people who want to pet her, she will stop me in my tracks to sniff random objects as if some life changing event is about to come out of that smell.
Today, she literally stopped to smell the flowers as we were trekking along. I let her and it gave me a quick reminder.
- Life is worth stopping for. Everyone needs to slow down and enjoy it more.
As we were walking home from our walk, and it wasn’t a short one, we had to walk most of the way uphill. She still had her Pitbull smile on her face, kept a good pace even though I know she was probably a little tired, and stopped to smell a little more random objects on the way home – most likely to slow the pace down, sneaky bastard…
- Despite difficulties, forging ahead is the best option. Everyone has their own cross to bear, don’t put yours on someone else’s back.
We got home, we went inside, and she promptly crashed out on the cool floor. After an hour plus walk, she is ready to rest. Currently she is laying on the couch after this long walk on a beautiful sunny, cool Sunday in KCMO.
She drank her water, she jumped up on her blanket, and she is resting like a champ as you see in the blog’s main image.
- Downtime should be appreciated as much as active time. Learn to take refuge in your downtime.
A lot of this we know, but we forget.
We think we are special, but we aren’t. We think we can withstand unlimited stressors without repercussions. We think we can burn the candle at both ends and not expect to pay a price for that.
Some of us neglect family, friends, and the enjoyment those people bring to our lives.
We methodically create an empire for ourselves of consumption, acquiring goods, moving up in status, but forget to enjoy the ride along the way. What good is your status if you forget where you came from and who came along on that ride with you?
I train hard, I work hard, I want more, but I have made a decision some time ago to never sacrifice who I am for it. I decided that my personal relationships and personal principles are far too important to push aside for anything.
I am not perfect in this, but my dog showed me a little bit of perfection this weekend in her sheer joy of doing what she does best.
Loving the world and loving the life she has with my wife and myself.
Do better, be better, treat yourself to life’s joy. Fitness is a part of wellness, and wellness is a whole package.
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