Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Move it or lose it.

I was really dragging ass yesterday in my window between afternoon lessons and evening lessons, to the point that I was dawdling and couldn't decide what to do with myself. Usually I go for a trail run-thing, but I was tired and it was kind of brisk outside and I only had an hour to run-thing, shower, eat, what have you--it just wasn't happening. So I thought "okay, I'll go to the co-op and just pick up some dinner even though I'm not hungry yet." Once I got there, I didn't want anything. It wasn't like I was crabby--just tired and indecisive. I got a maple cinnamon roll, which is basically a half pound of wheat bread with some nuts and amazing icing on it. I got some focaccia and chickpea tomato stuff for later. It was a start.

I went back to my car and started eating the roll, which was delicious. It made me want tea, and a nap. Instead, I drove down the crappy road along the river that takes you by the springs and waterfalls, the ice cave, the cliffs, and a hundred secret trails and ravines, and decided to park my car and start walking with the maple cinnamon roll, even though I seriously considered just sitting in the car and watching the river while I munched. The wind was whipping here the way it does sometimes, thanks to the town being in a bowl surrounded by bluffs and cliffs. It was cloudy. I stalked up a trail that abuts a private property that is also, apparently, a vacation home. The owner was outside fussing with something and her two dogs bounded over the hill, barking, to greet me, and I greeted them back. The owner was completely unfazed by this--didn't call them, didn't call out to me--which was fine; they were nice dogs. They trotted out on the path ahead of me, one excited pointerish dog, black and white and silky, and a little golden puggy dog with a pointy snout. I called her Short Legs.

I figured they were just showing me the ropes. The trails are right by their property, after all. The bigger dog kept racing ahead, then turning around and bowing down, then running back to us, then forward--so obviously saying "come ON." The little one trotted at my heels like a good non-alpha dog most of the time, occasionally racing out to join her friend, and then coming back to me. It was cute. I thought they'd get tired of it and go home.

But this routine went on for about 45 minutes, during which time both dogs romped out into the woods and returned repeatedly to the trail with me. Every time I turned down a new path, they followed. My mood and my energy level completely changed. The day was beautiful instead of blustery. The woods were golden and green. The trail was a steady climb, which is how I like it. Suddenly I could easily imagine living somewhere like this, a little remote, spending my days walking the hills with a pair of dog buddies.

The shorter version of this post is: when I don't know what to do with myself, I need to take a walk, always. I always see something I didn't expect, and I always feel better as soon as I'm moving.


  1. Aw, just reading this cheered me up. A pair of dog buddies! Nice post.

  2. It's true. I like walking with R too; I think it helps our relationship.

    Love the doggies!

  3. I. Heart. Decorah.

    Small, magical things there are happening all the time.

    Like the taco in a bag at the Whippy Dip.

    Forreal though this sounds so lovely. I love being by myself there. Climb up Chimney Rock at sunset. There's a good chance someone will be there proposing marriage to their mate, but if you are lucky enough to be there alone, at sunset, on an off day, it's just incredible.

  4. Wait, you're in Iowa? How did I miss that?