dogs · fitness · trackers · walking

Solo Stroll (don’t tell Khalee)

Every month my wrist-spy* suggests a fitness challenge and I usually try it just to add a little extra oomph to my routines.

I have only been following it closely for a few months but since it has led to me moving a lot more each day (and feeling great about it!) I figure it’s worth the effort to pay attention to the challenges and to my responses.

This month, the challenge is to walk 5.4km per day for 14 days during September.

And since I am much better at doing something every day than every second day, I decided that I would aim for 14 days in a row and if I liked walking that much per day, I would continue for the rest of the month.

So far, I have met the challenge every day but some days have been quite tricky.

I get a lot of movement in my days but it’s a mix of walking and yoga and stretching and taekwondo and strength training and so on.

This challenge is just about walking. So walking around my house or running errands will count toward the 5.4km but other forms of exercise won’t.

(That other movement is good for me overall, of course, but it doesn’t meet the requirements of the challenge.)

I’ve tried getting Khalee to walk a bit further each day so I can get closer to the target distance but sometimes she just won’t. In fact, on Friday evening we walked for less than 1km because she decided she was done with being outdoors and it was time to get home out of it.

A light haired dog lies on a patio, facing toward the camera.
This photo has nothing to do with yesterday’s walk but her expression looks a bit skeptical, kind of like the way she was looking at me when ai returned. Image description: a photo of Khalee, my light-haired, medium-sized dog, resting on my patio near some pots of flowers. She is facing toward the camera and her expression looks similar to the way a human would narrow their eyes at you in suspicion. There’s green grass and a backyard firepit in the background of the photo

I’ve thought about trying to take her out for a walk twice a day but any time I’ve tried, she’s not so keen on it. (I swear, she looks like she is thinking, ‘Didn’t we do this already?’)

So, I’ve ended up walking a fair distance INSIDE my house just to meet the challenge. Indoor walking is boring AND I walk slower than I do outside – apparently I really need the forward movement to gain any momentum.

Ok, so I know what you’re thinking – Why don’t you walk WITHOUT the dog, Christine?

Good question.

And the answer is – I never thought of it.

Most of the time, I walk for three reasons – to walk the dog, to hang out with friends, or to get somewhere.

And all of those walks are good for me but I had kind of filed away the fact that I could walk for the sake of walking/exercise.

I mean, I guess I *do* still do that but I generally combine it with Khalee’s daily walk so I had stopped thinking of it as something I could do separately.

Until I was running an errand on Monday morning and I saw someone strolling along the sidewalk without the benefit of a dog to show them where all the good smells are and it struck me, “OHHHH! I could do my extra walking OUTSIDE instead.”

Yes, I feel a bit foolish about missing the obvious there but you know how it is when you get into a thinking habit, right? You need something to prompt you to reframe your thoughts.

ANYWAY, right after lunch on Monday, I took a quick stroll – it was a lot easier to get out the door without having to get Khalee into her harness and all. It was good to get a little extra walking in, at my own speed, without worrying if Herself was going to get enough exercise or if I was going too fast or too slow for her in the moment.

I love walking with Khalee but walking a dog is a whole different project than walking alone. It’s a different kind of good.

I mean, I had to rely on my own nose to figure out where the good smells were but that was a small price to pay for a quick walk.

Meanwhile, I think Khalee was suspicious and I am pretty sure she gave me a dirty look when I returned.

For the record, I did take her for her own walk a bit later in the day.

And it was quite easy to get my walking distance done.

*You may know it as an Apple watch but thanks to a clever friend it will always be a wrist-spy to me.

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