Philip is joy in motion.

His back is to me, but I know he is smiling as he runs across the open field. I’m smiling, too, at the beautiful weather and at the fact I have the time off from work to enjoy it with Philip.

We’ve come to the county park for this purpose: so Philip has space to run. In order to teach Philip to walk with me in public without holding my hand, I have to provide him a safe outlet for his need to run.

Room to run

Room to run

Suddenly, it dawns on me that Philip is getting smaller as the distance grows between us.

I start to lope after him, smugly thinking, “He may be fast, but my legs are longer.”

Philip isn’t slowing, so I pick up my pace.

“Stop!” I rasp out. “Wait, Philip! Wait for Mommy.”

He doesn’t wait.

My hiking boots are absolutely the wrong footwear for this foot chase. My thigh muscles are starting to burn under my too-snug jeans, and I’m winded.

I hate running.

This is my thought as I run downhill, hoping my foot doesn’t get caught in a hole hidden by the ankle-high grass.

Finally, I catch up with him. He had been in no danger since the field stretched on for several hundred yards more. Still, I am panting not only from the exertion, but the anxiety I feel knowing he didn’t stop when I called.

After our sprint, I lead Philip over to the wooded area for a short hike. Once we are in the woods, he doesn’t run as far ahead, so my mind eases. On the trail there are plenty of distractions to occupy his mind and subdue his impulse to run.

No time to run when you're putting mud on a stick

No time to run when you’re putting mud on a stick

You know how people say, “I wish I could bottle up his energy”? While I appreciate that sentiment, what I really wish I shared with Philip was enthusiasm for movement. He truly enjoys exercise.

The combination of chilly temperatures and head colds over the past few months has really put a dent in our walking routine. I really do miss walking every morning with the dog and every evening with both Roscoe and Philip. The weather hasn’t always been to blame. No, I know it has been a lack of motivation on my part. There have been obstacles, but not insurmountable ones. I’ve chosen to let them stop me rather than saying, “I can’t wait to get outside and move!”

I’ll never be a runner. I know it would be a great way to drop weight, but I’ve never gotten any pleasure from it. Also, even though Roscoe is quite speedy, he tends to stop suddenly to eat random objects off the sidewalk, pee on utility poles or smell the places where other dogs have done the same. Given the choice, I’d rather walk with Roscoe than run alone.

Unfortunately, I’ve been letting my dog down. It’s easier to put him into the backyard for a minutes than to gear up for a walk around the block. When we do walk, I can tell how happy it makes him.

So, it’s time to get out there and put some more miles on my sneaker. I may not be moving fast, but all that matters is that I’m going forward. The more that I do that, the less likely I will be to be panting and out of breath the next time Philip wants to play catch me if you can.

R is for run & renewed efforts. 

This A to Z Challenge post is the April edition of my “Minus 38 by my 38th” series. Each month I’m writing one post about lifestyle changes I’m making so that I can lose weight and improve my health by my next birthday.

I’m linking up with the Yeah Write Weekend Moonshine Grid. Always calorie free.

13 thoughts on “Run!

  1. I’ll never be a runner either, although I’ve certainly suffered through many jogs in trying to become one. I’ve settled into a walking routine I really like, though. I miss those days of walking in the woods with little boys! I liked your photos.


  2. I have bad knees, so I’m not supposed run, and I only like walking if I have an actual destination or if we’re hiking. Basically, I hate exercise because it’s boring. lol I love how Philip makes you see the world around you in new ways.


  3. Such an intriguing post that drew me into your story, and kept me sitting on the edge of my seat, hoping you’d catch Philip. I’m glad you did. It’s nice that you explored the woods together too.


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