Just like with any healthy routine, there’s usually something that helped motivate you to get you started. Sometimes our own passion and goals supply all the motivation we need, and sometimes it’s a good friend, someone to hold you accountable. For me, it was the latter. I found a friend who is incredibly enthusiastic about going for walks—literally will never turn down the offer to go. This natural pull to the great outdoors might just have to do with the fact that my pal Max is a dog.
Getting Max came from a promise we kept to our kids when we moved here, after 10 years of living in Japan where we had very little space for a dog. Adding Max to our family has brought about so many positive habits and happy (and silly) moments for all of us. Dogs need to get out, stretch their limbs, and exercise...and so do we! At first, heading out for walks was not a part of my daily routine, but I definitely gave the idea a lot of good thought (does that count?). Getting Max helped turn that nice thought into action. I became a walker, and now I can’t imagine my life without this daily pick-me-up.
Going for a walk is so much more than a just a walk. Max and I head to the bike path and often run into neighbors and catch up—we actually know some neighbors only by their their dog’s name! Max will always find something to chew, be it rocks or quite literally anything that’s not screwed to the ground. And, like most dogs, getting to take a quick dip in the pond equates to the best day ever…for him. We just end up with a stinky, wet dog!
Yes, I know I mentioned we got the dog for the kids, and don’t worry they get their fill of Max, too. I had no idea how having a dog would make our family closer and happier. These walks turn into a time where we get to talk and catch up with our kids—no screens to distract them, just fresh air, sunshine (or snow) and good conversation.
I hope everyone gets a chance to soak up these remaining days of summer. Maybe grab your sneakers and step outside. Dog or no dog, a walk is good for the body and mind. See you out there?
Rebecca Brady | The Top Seed