Have a dog? There’s a lot you can learn from your dog — especially if you’re a runner!
Dogs may not sleep quite as much as cats, but it’s close. What’s the very first thing they do before they get up? They stretch. Not just once, but multiple times.
As I go downstairs to let Bandit out first thing in the morning, that stretching can get downright annoying. Stretch when he gets up from his bed. Stretch when he gets to the landing. Stretch a few times before he ever goes out.
As annoying as all that stretching is, we need to take a page from our dogs’ playbook. Stretching before activity is important.
Speaking of play . . .
Just look at the smile on that face. Dogs aren’t worried about form, or pace, or how far they go. They just run for the sheer joy of movement. This is one I need to remember!
And speaking of smiling . . .
Smiling makes everything feel easier. It’s takes as much work to frown as it does to smile, so why not smile and make yourself feel happier? You’ll get better race photos, too.
The importance of recovery
Dogs are really, really good at recovery. They run, they stretch, they lay in the sun and then they usually go back to sleep. They’re not ticking away at their to do list, they just listen to their bodies.
It’s more fun with friends
Poor Lola. It was her lot in life to live with dogs who weren’t much into playing with other dogs. She tried, though, oh how she tried, all the time, to get them to play.
Obviously right now, for me, I am running solo. Some day I’ll feel ready to run with friends again. Oh happy day!
One thing I didn’t mention is that dogs live in the moment. Most of us have a great deal of difficulty doing that. We feel the need to fill every moment of our day with “important” stuff. We worry about past mistakes, and we worry about the future.
Dogs may worry in the moment (where’s my food? is mommy angry at me? will she ever come home to me?), but most of their life is just spent living in the moment. That’s a great lesson for runners — and for people. Sometimes it’s okay to just be.
What lessons have you learned from your dog?
Which of these do you need to work on?
Are you able to just be in the moment like a dog?
This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.