As K9 Kamp Komes to a Klose (I am not going to miss all the K’s; there is a reason they’re worth 5 points in Scrabble) I find myself wondering what fitness really means.
If you read through the posts of my fellow kampers, and even my own, you’ll find a heavy emphasis on aerobic and strength training. But what about the other forms of fitness? Balance? Flexibility? Agility?
Dog Agility vs Human Agility
Honey and I have brought everyday agility activities to our walks just by finding weave poles, jumps, and tunnels all around us.
But they don’t do much for my fitness. And this K9 Kamp, we’ve taken on the special challenge of increasing my fitness more than Honey’s.
Then I got it!
I’ve been hanging around with dog people so much that when I hear the word agility, I automatically think of the equipment we see in a dog sport arena. But our regular walks challenge my agility plenty, from dodging potholes and uneven sidewalks to the more natural obstacles we find off-road.
Here are a few fitness challenges from walks we take around our neighborhood every day.
Balance Beam (downed tree trunk)
Sorry you can’t see me traveling the full twenty-foot length of this downed tree right up to where it is five feet off the ground. I will say that walking the downed tree, up hill, while taking pictures and holding a dog leash did give quite the fitness challenge.
It’s also a great test of your dog’s loose leash walking skills.
Balance Ball (rocks)
Every rock is balanced on another. You never know which ones will stay still and which ones will move under you.
And one might even hide a big stinky fish that will attract your dog, causing you to run after her or risk a face plant in the rocks.
Incline Board (more rocks)
The strangely angled rocks test my flexibility. Trying to walk the edges of the creek without getting my feet wet challenges my sense of balance and agileness.
Somehow I think it would be easier if I had four feet. And if I had wash and wear paws.
Rock Climbing Wall (140 foot rock gorge)
Are you kidding me? I’ll pass.
With soft, layered stone that crumbles in your hand, rock climbing is not a good idea in Ithaca.
Fitness All Around
Honey and I are lucky that we have this amazing fitness center just five blocks from our house. And there is no membership fee.
Do you have fitness challenges in your neighborhood? Maybe you just need to look at things in a new way to see them for what they are.
And thank you to Kamp Kounselors, Kolchak, Felix, and Kelly for being such good fitness examples.