You know how I'll sometimes casually drop the line about getting up at 5 a.m. to go to the gym, as if I'm trying to earn Brownie points for my diligence getting up that early to hit the treadmill or the elliptical?
Well confession time.
Its been a real BIG struggle these past few months to get up at 5 a.m. to go to the gym. Most nights if I wake up in the middle of the night I'll turn the alarm off and sleep in another hour. And if I happen to sleep until the alarm rings, I'll turn it off and turn over and say to hubby "I'm not going to the gym". I'm the catalyst in the family for going. He will go if I go; if not he doesn't go.
Honestly, I'm not sure how the struggle started. We were pretty faithfully going five days a week for months.
It could have started around March when Alex was no longer at the gym. He was the guy at the front counter Tuesdays through Friday mornings. He was real personable, knew everyone, had a laugh so loud you could hear him upstairs when he was downstairs. He called me "Miss Betty" and always had a smile on his face. He changed TV stations for you if you didn't like what was on, etc. One day he wasn't there. Of course it took a couple weeks to realize he wasn't there and when asked, of course no one knew what happened to him.
Don't get me wrong, those that came after him were proficient in what they did, but it just wasn't the same without Alex. I think shortly after that it started to become a struggle to get up five days a week so we gradually started reducing it to the past few months we were going just two days a week and last week only made it once a week. A lot of it had to do too with a shift in membership patterns and more people were there early in the morning and it was hard to get a good machine, there were lots of machines not working.
I know the importance of exercise on our bodies and I actually do feel better when I exercise.
So we played around with options. Get our own treadmill or elliptical. Good ones are a bit expensive and while it would pay for itself over a year or two over what we pay for gym membership, it just didn't seem like a doable option right now.
So the other morning I was thinking "why don't we just walk the neighborhood?" Map out a route that would take about 30-35 minutes. Hubby was up for it and we did the "math" so to speak and figured we could sleep in an extra 25 minutes which was the time it took to drive back and forth to the gym.
So this past Monday we started our new walking program. We both carry walking sticks since it is dark when we start our walk. We walk on streets where we don't have to cross major ones and do a nice loop that is just under two miles. As we get back into shape, we'll increase the distance.
Hubby carries a flashlight, his cell phone, wallet etc. We organized it pretty darn good.
Mr. Sniff-Sniff-Sniff, Waddle-waddle-waddle walking Koda. He likes to meander as he walks, stopping to smell the roses (or other dogs or fire hydrants) and we want to walk. We want to get our heart beat up and break a sweat.
Before when we went to the gym, we would take him with us and leave him in the van. It was always early morning, the sun wasn't out and the van was comfortable. He would curl up and go to sleep until we came back.
We knew we couldn't take him on the walks and get a good workout.
So we decided to crate him before we went.
He is a dog of routine. He knows our schedules better than we know them ourselves.
So Monday morning he is out and ready to have his leash be put on like it had happened so many other mornings. When I told him to go into his bed, he kind of looked shocked but went in there. Yesterday again he looked a bit shocked and a bit slower he went into it.
This morning when I gave him the command he just sat in the middle of the floor and looked at me (but this picture above doesn't represent the look, he had more of a defiant look on his face). Finally hubby told him to do so and he went reluctantly into his crate. He does get a cookie for going into it but I think it suddenly dawned on him this is his new norm.
And I don't think he's happy about it.
I think we heard him barking at least for a block or two after we started walking..........
(we are still trying to figure out what we'll do when it is rainy weather, but those can be few and far between in Sunny Southern California :)