How Walking My Imaginary Dog is Changing My Life

We all do it.  Come up with grand ideas in our heads about what we’ll do, how often, how great it will feel and how awesome we’ll look.  Plus, the harder, sweatier, more intense it is, the better! 

 

I’m talking about exercise.  It’s taken on such monumental weight (no pun intended) in our lives because it’s become something extra that you have to fit in, rather than something that is just naturally part of your existence.

 

I used to be lucky enough to live in a city where walking was the main form of transportation in my life.  On any given day, I would walk for about 2 hours, just getting around.  But now, I live in LA.  Which I adore, but even walking is an event here, because we are so addicted to our cars.

 

Then I doggie sat a couple times and had a revelation.  Here I am, taking care of these cuties, walking them without fail twice a day, no matter what.  Meaning, regardless of my schedule, those little mongrels were being walked, whether it was for 10 minutes or an hour.  Why would I not bless myself with this same courtesy of movement?

Shoes

I am a person that loves to move and exercise, and I get to do a lot of both just by nature of my job.  But doing it as an instructor is not the same as doing it for yourself, and as my schedule was pretty packed, I was turning exercise into such a huge “event” in my head that I started to make it last on my to-do list (aside from my morning yoga practice of course).  But it doesn’t have to be such a big deal.  Making an effort to walk twice a day is awesome.

 

So I implemented my own program.  Twice a day, gotta walk my dog.  Yes, I pretend I have one, and if I start stressing about “not having time,” I literally say out loud, gotta walk my dog! And off I go.

 

It’s magical really.  Since starting my walking program, I made a huge discovery about the way I move which is helping me to heal a long-standing hip injury.  I also take in the beautiful flowers that bloom all over my neighborhood, not to mention the intoxicating aroma of jasmine in the air.  I step away from my computer and find bursts of inspiration and solutions to problems while outdoors, which makes me far more productive when I return to the task at hand.  And occasionally, I run into a friend or acquaintance and exchange smiles, hugs, and kind words.  What’s not to love?

Flowers

And yes, on top of all that, lean muscles.  I’m not doing anything painful that requires a lot of preparation or cool down.  I’m simply moving my body the way God intended, connecting to nature, taking a break from technology, and appreciating a moment of pure presence. 

 

Take Action Now:

1)    Go for a walk! Just 10 minutes. See how you feel.

2)    Share your insights in the comments below.

 

Perhaps we’ll run into each other some time, “walking our dogs.”  If you have a real dog, that’s cool too.

 

With love,

 

Sasha

 

P.S.  Get on the weekly wellness train! Sign-up HERE to receive the Wellness Wednesdays newsletter in your inbox.

 

Published by Sasha Marie Stone

Happiness Engineer at Automattic, work-from-home wellness expert, life coach, and dog mom.

6 thoughts on “How Walking My Imaginary Dog is Changing My Life

  1. I love all of this! As a former New Yorker, I also used to walk everywhere and stayed quite fit doing nothing but that. It is definitely more of an effort to take walks in LA, but I’ve been incorporating more of it into my life, too. My latest thing is “purposeful walks” where I do errands like going to the post office or taking my dog (yeah, I have an actual one) to the vet — things I would normally do in a car. Accomplishing these tasks is a great motivator, and I feel good about both getting exercise and reducing my carbon footprint.

    P.S. I discovered that I actually did miss jogging and I put that back into my routine. But it’s not going to replace the walking!

    Like

  2. I love walking, it clears my mind of clutter I too love seeing and smelling all the beautiful flowers along the way

    Like

  3. I love this! So much so, I tried it last night. Along the way I finally met some new neighbors who were out walking a real dog. We all walked together for the next 45 min or so. Great time and we might do it again tonight!!

    Like

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