Before I was about 20 I never exercised on purpose. Ever. I eventually realized working up a sweat wasn’t the worst thing and in fact, the post workout feeling was actually pretty nice. By the time I was 25 I became a regular exerciser. I am not fast, but I enjoy running. I like having to focus so closely on my own body movements and breathing that I can’t worry about any of the endless things that my brain is normally focused on. As I have aged, I still enjoy running, but my body works harder, my hips, back, feet and ankles protest if I do it too often, and frankly, the extra weight I am carrying just makes the whole experience a lot of effort to work up to.
Walking is boring. When faced with a workout, I would always pick running over walking, but when I started working at IDT I made a friend who liked to walk. Granted, her idea of walking was not that far off from my running, so maybe it was kind of a compromise, but many spring/summer/fall days we would take off from the office to walk. Some days we would change into workout clothes, go for a long walk, come back to a quick shower and get back to work. Other days we would drop everything when one of us had a particularly frustrating meeting or needed to rehash last nights activities and just hit the trail behind the office for a quick lap and a mind clearing conversation.
I am the kind of person that is pretty uncomfortable. Yep, end of sentence. I am awkward and also very intuitive, so not only am I anxious, I notice that you notice and when that makes you uncomfortable I get more uncomfortable. I don’t have many friends, but the friendships that I do have are deep. And when they end, it hurts.
Last summer was hard. We lost a family member that meant the world to all of us. I was reminded that no one is invincible and then I was reminded again when another close family member was diagnosed with an incurable, life altering disease. I was dealt another disappointment in my professional life that caused me to question relationships that I had misinterpreted, the hurt was deep. The deepest cut was that I lost my walking partner. I wasn’t my best self and I let my own feelings get in the way of those of my friend. I can’t even really explain what happened, because I honestly don’t know but as hard as it is for me to let go of those that I am close to some people are quick to cut ties when they are let down.
In August we decided to bring home Penny and now I have a new walking partner. She will run with me too, and I think she is improving my times by giving me an extra pull when she really wants to go. It’s kind of funny to watch us I am sure, me running along like I am about to die while Penny prances ahead of me like she’s on a Sunday stroll. But more than the improved running times I am appreciating her company on long walks. I have discovered lots of trails that I never really appreciated. The conversation isn’t the same, and I am still sad over the loss of my friendship, but now I have a new partner and we are discovering how many beautiful places to go there are right in our own town.
Without my own breath control to keep me distracted or a friend to converse with, I am learning to appreciate the quiet and trying to take some time to enjoy my surroundings. Appreciate what is here in front of me, because it won’t last and it won’t always be my choice.
Plus. A tired pup is a snuggly, well behaved pup.