Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Measure (01/10/13)
TITLE: The Measure of a Walk
By Laura Hawbaker
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Now, when a dog marks something (polite way of saying he peed on it) does that mean he is claiming it as his territory or does it mean he has a strong dislike for the target he is aiming at? Is Jack claiming the treadmill, or does he hate the thing?
Actually, I am not sure how I feel about the treadmill either. Walking for twenty minutes without going anywhere does seem kind of silly.
The treadmill was my idea in the first place. Walking is my favorite exercise and in fair weather I sometimes walk twice a day. My morning walk is my prayer walk, just God and I walking and talking together. In the evening I am often joined by my husband and Jack. Jack is always eager and excited to walk with us; chalking up two or three miles to our one as he races off to explore exciting smells and rabbit trails.
However, I am a bit of a wimp. I don’t walk if it is too cold, too breezy, too wet or too muddy. Vowing that I was not going to let winter fat sneak up on me this year, I declared it was time to invest in a treadmill.
My husband was in complete agreement and so the purchase was made, the directions studied, pieces assembled and no matter the weather it was time to walk!
Jack was napping on his pillow in the garage when I took my first treadmill walk. I stood on the belt, grasped the cold metal handles and pushed the start button. “Whirr, whirr,” the belt beneath my feet sprang to life. I was walking! The panel in front of me lit up imparting what looked like very important information. Fascinated, I studied the array of digital numbers deciphering what each one meant. I discovered one set of flashing numbers displayed my speed, another how many minutes and seconds I had been walking and how far I had gone. And, oh glory be, yet another told me how many calories I had burned! A progress report, all measured out in numbers right before my eyes.
I glanced up and noticed Jack watching me. He trotted over to the treadmill and just stood there staring. No tail wagging, no excited prancing. Was that a look of disdain in his eyes? I could just imagine his thoughts. “Are you kidding? You call this taking a walk??? Where is the fun in this?” With disgust he ambled back over to his pillow to resume his nap.
I do think the treadmill was a worthwhile purchase, but I tend to agree with Jack. Walking on the treadmill is exercising, working out, burning calories, but it is not taking a walk.
I plan to keep up my treadmill walking over the next few months, but I am looking forward to spring when the success of my walk is measured in the freshness of the air, the twitter of the birds, the greenness of the trees, the pleasure of the walk, not in the miles per hour or the number of calories burned. And Jack can mark any tree or bush on the trail that he wants!
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