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Friday, July 26, 2013

Walking Wonder

     Today I woke up and decided to get motivated and start doing some of the things I have said I was going to do. So, I called the dentist to get some crowns replaced before my coverage from work runs out.  I left a message, and, six hours later, I am still waiting for a call back.  I think they might be closed on Fridays.  Whoops... I have to remember to call on Monday. Then, I decided to plan out my day. 1. Take the dog for a walk. 2. Go tanning. 3. Do dishes. 4. Start cleaning/organizing some papers. You know about the best laid plans. Here's what happened:
     I threw on some clothes and a hat, and I put the leash on the dog.  For those who don't know, I have a Parson Jack Russell.  He is like a thirty pound ball of energy, but he's actually fairly calm for a Jack Russell, so I thought, "How hard can this be?"  I'm glad you asked.  Okay, so you didn't, but I'm going to tell you anyway.  As soon as I opened the door, he shot out like the porch was a cannon and he was the ball.  However, the leash only reaches to the end of the porch, so he bounced back like he was on a bungee.  It didn't seem to affect him, but I had to put my shoulder back in its socket before we could go.  At that point, I decided to tighten up the leash.  We walked down the driveway and out onto the road.  Actually, I tried to walk while he lunged until he choked himself on the leash, waited for me to catch up, and then did it again, over and over.  I think my arm grew three inches longer just walking about fifty feet.  I decided enough was enough, and I shortened the leash until he had no room to move except right beside me.  It was a loooong walk down my hill because he pulled against the leash the whole way, even though he was choking himself.  I was beginning to wonder if he had brain damage; you would think he would learn not to do that at some point. Now I live at the top of a hill that is about 300 yards from the bottom to the top bend, and it has about a 40 degree slope.  Going down is the easy part, and I knew that, so I wondered how I was going to get him back up the hill - I decided to worry about that later.  At the bottom of the hill, we turned right, onto the little side road.  Jax (the dog) was still trying to pull away, especially when he saw two dogs about ten yards ahead of us.  He was jumping and whining because he wanted to go play with them.  Luckily, the owner of the two dogs saw us coming, and he put his dogs inside of the fence.  I dragged Jax, trying not to look like an abusive owner, past that house while holding him down at my side, by my heel.  So far, I felt like I had been fighting to reel in a 30 pound fish for about twenty minutes - it's more tiring than you might think.  At the stop sign, I stopped to take a break and shake out my arm, and Jax stopped right beside me.  Well, well, things were looking up.  I reached down, patted him, and told him he was a good dog.  Then, I put him in place, at my heel, and said, "Heel," and began walking while holding him there. I continued putting him in place and repeating the word "heel." It took a few minutes, but he actually caught on.  He would stop when I stopped and walk when I walked.  I felt pretty accomplished, not to mention proud of him and of myself!  At the end of the street, I loosened the leash and told him to go run around for a minute.  He did, and then he promptly squatted in someone's driveway and did his business.  Thank goodness I came prepared with a baggie.  I cleaned up the mess like a responsible owner - thank you very much - and then looked for somewhere to throw it away.  I quickly realized that I didn't see anywhere to put it, and I definitely wasn't going to carry it around.  So, with Jax back on the short least and "heeling" like a champ, I snuck up to someone's trash can and casually threw it in without even looking.  (I don't think anyone saw me, but so much for feeling proud of myself.)  The walk back to the bottom of the hill was a breeze.  Jax was doing so well.  I just kept telling him that he was a good dog and petting him from time to time.  So there we were, at the bottom of the hill.  This was the same hill that I used to walk up and down five to ten times a day without even thinking about it when I lived here as a teenager, but it looked so much longer now.  Oh well, nothing for it but to climb up or call my son for a ride, and I was not going to give him any ammo with which to razz me for the next month.  We began the walk up the hill, and, about fifteen yards up, my lower back started cramping.  Oh no!  What now?  Of course the "what now" was to power through it, which I did, with only one rest stop in the middle. Okay, it was a ten minute rest stop, but whatever. However, by the time I got back to the house, my back was throbbing. 
     So, I walked in the house and called my doctor (who had just told me a couple of weeks ago that she didn't think I could do an intense yoga class because of my back while I laughed at her for underestimating me).  I really didn't want to make that call, but I have planned to go to a 26 mile yard sale with my uncle in a few weeks, and I need to know what the issue is. I am going to be really bummed if I can't do that trip.
     Right now, I am sitting here waiting for the doctor to call back.  I am thinking that it's a good thing I did the dishes and took a bath before I sat down because all of my other plans for today are pretty much out the window.  But I am telling myself that I'm not going to worry about it because everything will get done eventually.  What is harder is accepting that I have any physical limitations.  I still feel like I'm twenty-something, and I really hate those reality checks that slap me in the face (or the back) from time to time. 
     But, rather than wallowing in self-pity (okay, okay, I did that while I was in the tub), I have decided to make some realistic daily and short-term goals.  So far, I have been sending out at least two or three applications a day.  They have been for all sorts of different jobs; some of them I really wouldn't mind doing, and others I send just for kicks.  I have determined to keep doing that, even if unemployment didn't require three a week.  I am also going to write for at least one half to one hour a day.  Sometimes it may be here; sometimes it may be elsewhere - I think I have a book or two in my head.  My son is leaving tomorrow for a week-long vacation, so I am going to do my three day silent retreat here at home.  I really wanted to go away to do that, but I will do it here.  I just have to stay strong and stick to it.  No visiting, no talking, no computer, no TV, no phone, no shopping, no rearranging or cleaning the house... Just meditating, reading the Bible, praying, and writing in my journal.  I think that I am going to start on Tuesday and go through until Friday, so don't worry if you don't hear from me during that time.  I think I may have some interesting things to share after that little episode. As soon as I hear back from the doctor, I am also planning to add in a regular exercise routine every day.
     In the meantime, I need to go and help my son pack for his trip, wait for the doctor to call back, and catch up on Candy Crush (yes, I got sucked in a couple of days ago thanks to my family - jerks!). So, until our next mini-adventure, peace out!


  1. Sounds like when I take my 25# Cavalier King Charles for a walk. He pulls the entire time and zig zags in front of me. No amount of correcting works for more than a few steps. I want the leash that goes over your shoulder and around your back so my arms will still be the same length at the end of a walk.

    1. LOL Maybe that is your million dollar idea. Now you just need to design a prototype.