I've never been a fan of daylight savings time. Twice a year and for a few days, I feel like I've been thrown into some alternate universe. In the fall, I'm suddenly (and cruelly) thrust into darkness before I even clock out of work. The world seems to stop a few hours early and everyone walks around looking confused and zombie-like. In the spring, we get blessed sunlight for a few more hours of the day, but at the expense of losing an hour of sleep. This seems to only have a negative effect for a few days, but after that, the feeling of still needing to go go go until nine at night lingers and bedtime creeps later into the night until things finally even out again. Regardless, I have to get up at the same time every day. Quarter to six comes far too early no matter which way you cut it, but for some reason it hit me especially hard this year. Especially when a morning walk is top priority.
The first thing I noticed after waking up when the clock had sprung forward this year was how dark it was. It seemed like I was just starting to enjoy some light enough walks when suddenly, things went pitch black again. After groggily brushing my teeth and putting clothes on, I went to the kitchen to feed the dogs and nearly went straight back to bed when I noticed that there still wasn't a single sign on sunrise yet.
But those dogs need walking, and darn it, so do I. I admit, my morning walk is sometimes the absolute most miserable part of my day, especially when it's near freezing and the wind is blowing hard enough to knock down branches. But for the most part, I count on it as a way of tapping into my energy reserves and getting the day going on a positive note. When I don't go, I feel it not only in my conscious (those forlorn doggie stares get me every time!) but also in my lack of umph that tends to set the stage for the rest of a draggy day. So I try to set forth no matter what the temperature, therefore a little darkness shouldn't be enough to stop me.
I've been living in or visiting my current home for twenty-five years now. My mom and I used to walk the gravel roads of our subdivision almost every day when I was a kid. So I know it like the back of my hand. And even though I feel perfectly confident walking through total blackness (and no, I don't have a flashlight...go ahead and wag those fingers), that fact doesn't stop me from feeling pretty foolish when I trip into a pothole like I did that morning. Luckily, I didn't do a face plant into the gravel but I did twist my ankle slightly. Cursing, I recovered and continued the nearly mile long trek as the first grays of dawn finally started to make an appearance. As I walked and listened to my doggies' joyful, goofy panting, I couldn't help but to think about the fact that we were in a moment that they simply live for. Dogs don't care if the sun is up or down, if it's cold or hot, or if you feel like going or not. They are just thrilled to be out in the fresh air with you by their side. I should think more often about what's important to my dogs.
When it comes to the well being of my dogs, I'm really on top of my game. I know they need that time with me and they need the exercise. That's why I almost always take them regardless of how I'm feeling or the conditions outside. I wonder why I haven't generally applied that same philosophy to myself when it comes to health and exercise. I know what's good for me...do I really need to carry a leash in my mouth to my best friend and dance around begging? I guess that's kind of what a personal trainer is for, only that's more like torture and you have to pay for it too. If only people were as carefree as their canine counterparts. The world would be a much happier and a much healthier place.
Published On: March 29, 2011