The Benefits of Exercise
Don’t ask me if I do anything exciting. Just walking my Labradors can be exciting. On a peaceful Sunday afternoon I took them for a walk. Well, not just a walk. I noticed they were really anxious to go out so I thought I would just wear them down and get some exercise at the same time. So what better exercise than to rollerblade while they got their exercise by pulling me around the block, down the streets, along the sidewalks, until they got really tired.
They were a little more hyperactive than I had imagined. The first six blocks were really exciting as they ran at a gallop, while I just blithely pretended to be a skier behind a boat as they strained against their leashes. They frothed at the mouth, feeling the freedom of running.
The first three miles wasn’t bad, but I noted that everyone was not as cheerful as me, as they saw the two large dogs bearing down on them with me in tow. The lady with the baby stroller and the small child didn’t quit screaming until we were out of sight, but I suppose she was an exception. Most people didn’t react quite that severely. I also admit to a little fear crossing the intersections at full speed, dodging and swerving past the oncoming cars. But my senses soon became numbed by overload. All was quite fine as I hung on, and I began to relax and enjoy the scenery–at least until “the CAT”.
A cat lay on the sidewalk, dreaming of a faraway mouse, absorbing heat from the cement, seemingly unaware of impending disaster. Now at full speed, behind two already worn out dogs, I thought I should be able to order them to stop, to slow down, to heed my passionate pleas, because after all, I once trained dogs and I was thoroughly confident of my skills. Now as I look back at the situation I realize my confidence was poorly misguided.
The sudden surge of power and speed was exhilarating as I shouted to the dogs to stop, slow down, and whatever else I was calmly yelling at the time.
At that moment the cat woke from his dream, realized the peril from the approaching runaway team of dogs, and dashed across the street. The dogs followed suit, turning ninety degrees after the cat. Now here’s where I kind of lost track of what happened because the dogs and I parted company.
I tried to avoid the tree, the sidewalk, the street pavement, and other obstacles that suddenly flashed before me. Fortunately I found some fairly soft earth but released my hold on the dogs. They immediately shifted into a higher gear.
I’m not going to recount the rest of the story because I don’t know what happened to the cat. It took me fifteen minutes of calling, pleading, and threatening to find the dogs and get them back. So today I am sore, but wiser. But you know, I do think it’s almost time to take a walk again.
By Dan Roberson