Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Walks and Renewed Health

Last year at this time I was off of dog walking duty due to the fact that moving any joint in my body caused pain and at that time in my life, I was just trying to make it through the day.  For many people, being relieved of walking duty during Chicago winters would be welcome.  Not me.  I really missed getting out with my dog each morning.  Sure, I sometimes dread getting out in the cold and many times have to rush home because the tips of my fingers and toes are so cold I think I am going to pass out, but I also love the energy I feel when I return home.  I love that each day seems to bring something new to me.  Twice now Izzy and I have seen the neighborhood fox.  Once we were even fairly close and the two of them looked at each other and then moved on.  I have enjoyed watching the leaves slowly disappear so I can now see the squirrels nests and watch them chasing each other in the trees.  I like meeting fellow dog walkers on the path so our dogs can have a quick sniff with a friend.  I also like that with the cooler weather Izzy gets into her crouched play stance when she sees her friends.  I like mornings like I had the other day where I start off my walk in the dark and get into deep thought, looking down to make sure I don't fall on the ice, turn the corner, and realize the sun is coming up.  What a beautiful start to my day.

With joints that are now cooperating with me, I have gained new strength and flexibility and have been having a little fun!  Izzy and I are now running up and down small hills in the neighborhood rather than avoiding them.  I sometimes find myself smiling like a kid as I try to keep up with Izzy.  She seems to like it too.  I have been balancing on curbs while being pulled by Izzy.  I sometimes think my neighbors must think I am nuts, but then I don't care because the two of us are enjoying ourselves so much.

What I have discovered from walking each and every morning is that every day has something different and wonderful to give to us.   When I wake up in the morning, I might be able to predict my entire days activities, but my walks are always unpredictable.  Even walking the same path, I never know what critters we will encounter, I never know which of our neighbors we will get to visit with, I never know where my mind will be allowed to venture into with the quiet of the morning.

Knowing that each morning I am now able to walk my sweet Izzy is one of the greatest gifts I have been given with my renewed health.  Not only do I enjoy spending time with my border collie, but I also love discovering what gifts nature has in store for the day.


  1. Hi Cathy :) I just came across this as a 'post you may also like' and find myself unable to stop staring at that beautiful picture! Was that taken near your house?

    We very rarely get snow here, so although I know you must get sick of it, I do crave a white winter sometimes. It's so hot here at the moment, making it difficult to sleep at night, so I'm really craving something to cool me down. Thinking of winter walks sure helps.


  2. Hi Kate,
    Thanks for commenting. Yes, this picture was taken in my neighborhood. I started out my walk in the dark and when I turned the corner I saw this beautiful scene.

    I can definitely understand craving snow or something to cool you down. Living in Chicago though, it feels the winters will never end. However, two days ago we had 8 inches of snow in one day and when it all settled it was beautiful!

    Keep cool.