Sometimes the universe just smacks you on the head.
Before we proceed, can I ask you a quick favor? Can you read this archived post–it’s super short–or take a speedy glance? Trust me. You’ll see.
Did you glance at it?
OK. Now, that was from two years, one month, and one day ago. Wouldn’t you know it, though… As I was
staring out the window working this morning, I glanced up and there he was! (Sorry for the crappy-quality, through-the-screen shot… I didn’t think I’d have enough time to get outside to snap the pic!)
Can you even believe it? Same compression socks, same sweatband, same tenacious gentleman. (Not sure why he’s walking in the grass? Less impact? Concrete too hot?)
Anyway, as soon as I saw him–after I dashed off to snap the pic–I looked up agility classes at the facility where Cooper and I used to practice. Rats. No classes. But then I looked back at that old post, and I was reminded: My goal was never agility. My goal was to build Cooper’s confidence. Sure, agility is a great way to do that, but that’s not the end game.
We’ve made some strides. For instance, yesterday, after spending the entire day at doggy daycare followed by a two-mile walk/jog with John and I, Cooper very calmly greeted neighbors who had a baby with them. Heck, he even wagged his tail and went up to the guy to get some scratches. That isn’t something he used to be able to do calmly. Of course, it took wearing him out thoroughly first, but it still happened!
Doggy daycare is one way we’ve been working on his confidence. He goes alone now–no brothers–and while they tell us he’s doing great, he plays, he loves the people, etc., we have our doubts since he’s never, not once been in the pictures they post daily. It could be coincidence, I suppose, but we sort of suspect he’s just hanging off to the side, not in the action. Which is okay, too, as long as he isn’t uncomfortable. They assure us he isn’t, so we’ll keep it up.
The other thing, since we have few formal training options, is we’ve been hyper-focused on exercise. Cooper and I have been doing the C25K training program using this app (thanks, Erin!!!) and just completed week six, day one. Theoretically, two weeks from today, we’ll be running three miles.
Here’s where the universe smacked me on the head: I hate running. Actual hate. It’s uncomfortable. I don’t know where to put my arms (think: Phoebe). I trip a lot. I have crappy shoes. It takes so much time. Then I have to shower, which takes even more time. And our neighborhood is nothing but hills. Running here is seriously uphill both ways. Seriously.
I have all the runs written into my calendar, and every day when I see the dang reminder, I groan. I don’t want to. I don’t. I’d rather stay home.
And then I saw this guy. I have to imagine it’s hard for him, too. It’s hard to tell in the pic, but he looks like he’s in his 70s. And look at him go!
Then there’s Cooper. As much as I hate to run, Cooper loves it. No joke: I put on the hat I wear when we run, and he starts wagging and pacing and whining and wagging some more. He loves it. He trots along, one paw in front of the other, out in front of me with his ears are back listening for, I don’t know, my last gasping, dying breath.
(Actually, we’ve worked on “wait” at intersections, “let’s cross” to cross the street, and “turn” to stay on the sidewalk instead of cross.)
As we go, Cooper’s confidence is building–demonstrated by his greeting those strangers yesterday–and, I grudgingly suppose, my confidence as a runner will build. Maybe. It’s something to focus on, anyway.
I got my reminder this morning in the form of that tenacious, dedicated elderly gentleman who inspires me to keep at it.
I get my reminder every day from Cooper, the little guy who’s terrified of many things but would rather face down his fears for the chance to get out there and run.