Thursday, January 30, 2014

100 Mile Pact Follow Up

Florida walk.
For me, it's incredibly hard to admit when I haven't done something I said I would do. Unfortunately,
it happens pretty often. I love to jump on the bandwagon of a 10 day challenge, a 30 day challenge, or something even longer. I am full of enthusiasm at the beginning and then, as life and my responsibilities creep back in, I lose my footing and forget the initial feeling of unstoppable-ness. And I don't finish.

This behavior accounts for so many things in my life: file folders labeled and carefully organized but empty inside their box while papers overflow from countless gift bags where I stuffed them for later sorting, a garden that started out meticulously planned with tiny seedlings lined up in perfect rows that ended in rogue tomato plants and half grown but inedible watermelons that never received the proper amount of fertilizer and care, and, probably most famous of all, piles and piles of partially knitted accessories that were meant to line the cyberspace walls of my painstakingly thought out Etsy shop that somehow no longer seemed interesting or lucrative to me by the time that first spring after my opening rolled around. So often, I find that I am full of hopes and good intentions, and then I lose myself along the way in another endeavor and the previous undertaking is left to trail off with little of the pomp and hoopla with which I welcomed it into existence.

Beach walk.
And so it was with my 100 Mile Pact. If you don't recall, or if you've never visited McGee and me in the past, on November 14, 2013, I set out to walk 100 miles with my dog before the year came to a close in hopes of working on some of her behavioral issues and my skills as a dog leader. So many of you asked kindly along the way how we were doing, and I found that I just couldn't answer. It's not that we weren't walking at all, we were; however, as the days closed in on 2014 and our mileage stayed relatively small from day to day, I saw the number of miles that we would need to walk per day to meet our goal increasing hugely with every passing nightfall.

But something was different for me this time: even though I knew we couldn't make it, we kept on walking. Together, we logged some of the longest walks we have ever taken together (5.76 miles, 4.56 miles, 5.19 miles) and I didn't care that I knew we weren't going to get to 100, I was just enjoying hanging out with my dog.

We both benefited in so many ways:
  • McGee learned to look to me as a leader of equal (if not more!) importance than Dog
    Smiling walk.
    Dad and I learned how to be a more confident dog handler.
  • Together, we got used to her equipment and comfortable with the double leash/Freedom Harness/Gentle Leader combination.
  • We met other people in our neighborhood who are having similar issues with their dog. We exchanged contact info and will hopefully be able to figure out a way to work together to help our dogs.
  • We got shout outs from people driving by who were impressed by our dedication to walking and training. This was a great confidence booster!
  • McGee's happiness when it's time to go for a walk is palpable and contagious!
  • I got more exercise than I have gotten the whole time we've lived in Maryland. I used to walk everywhere in NYC- easily miles every single day. Taking these walks with McGee reminded me how much I love walking as a mode of transportation and gave me peaceful, quiet time to think and reflect on my days.
  • McGee actually got double goodness on the walking front because I think Dog Dad felt a little left out, so he ended up taking her for some walks so they could have alone time- pretty cute. 
Christmas lights walk.
The final stats from our walking adventures looked like this:

Total days available to walk: 37
Total number of walks taken: 23
Most walks in one day: 2
Longest walk in one stretch: 6.05 miles
We walked in the rain, in the cold, in the dark, and in the morning (ugh).
We walked on the beach, on the road, on wooded trails, around in circles, and in Florida.
McGee saw countless cats, squirrels, motorcycles, birds, and about a bazillion other dogs- and she ignored them approximately 60% of the time.
We walked 61.74 miles.
Dog Dad wants to know if we're going for 1000 miles in 2014.
I told him I have some knitting to finish.

1 comment:

  1. Way to go! We always like a formal Challenge. And even if we don't meet our goal, at least we attempted it -- plus, we probably did a lot more than we would have if we didn't challenge ourselves. We've done a daily morning walking challenge where we tried to walk every morning for 60 days. I love the idea of a mile challenge!! As soon as this winter weather goes away, I'd love to try that!!


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