It’s no secret that a dog is man’s best friend. Since picking up my main man Diesel 2 years ago, I can’t tell you how many good times and laughs that I’ve had because of him. Believe it or not, Diez has also been there to
teach me some good lessons when it comes to staying fit. Dogs can teach us some quality lessons in fitness and in life. Here are some of the lessons that I have learned since having a dog:
Lesson # 1: Wake up and work!
One of the hardest things about staying fit is waking up early, and getting to the gym. There will always be hundreds of excuses why you shouldn’t go to the gym. Examples like: “the roads are bad”, “I have a lot of work to get done before going in”, or “I’m not feeling the best this morning” are all examples that I’ve heard too many times! Trust me, when I wake up at 4:00 a.m. to make a 40 minute drive to work, these thoughts go through my head frequently! But then there is my dog, Diez, who springs out of bed every day like its Christmas morning and is ready to dominate his morning of covering every fire hydrant, stop sign (and sometimes car tires!) with his scent before any other dog in the neighborhood.
Rain, shine, sleet or snow, he wakes up, does his job, and never complains! Imagine if everybody had this mindset! After all, if you follow most of the fit people in the world, you will see that waking up early to workout is a habit. My boss, Justin Grinnel, wakes up and starts his workout every day at 4:00 a.m.! Whenever I wake up feeling tired and sorry for myself, I look at my dog awake and ready to go full force, and it makes me realize that waking up early is inevitable and I can’t change that, so I might as well just wake up and work!
Lesson # 2: Get up off the couch!
Every day that I come home, I am met at the door by a dog that is dying to see me. After grabbing the first thing that he can put in his mouth to give me, Diesel jumps on me and acts as if he has not seen me in years. After I say hi to my buddy and taking him for a walk, I usually get out my iPad or laptop and check my emails, facebook or whatever is going on for me that day. My dog hates this. Diesel slaps his paws on my hands or the computer, and even puts his face in front my screen pretty much telling me to get the hell off the computer. At first, it would bother me because I always felt like I had to get so much done, but after a while I realized that Diesel was right. There are way better things I could be doing with my time.
After all, I just worked a full day and had plenty of time to stare at a computer screen, why not get up off the couch and do something physical. Something as small as driving some golf balls, or playing basketball will by far benefit my level of fitness more than anything I can get done looking at a TV or computer screen. Think about it, how much time do you spend looking at a computer or TV screen a day? For most people, the answer is too much! Next time you find yourself creeping on Facebook or going on Pintrest, remember that you are doing nothing for your body! Get up off the couch, and do something physical.
Want to see the effects of looking at screens for too long? Check out Rebecca Klinger’s latest blog, Blue Light Special.
Lesson # 3: Have an open mind
My dog loves everybody. I realize that not all dogs can be this way, but most of the time they are. It doesn’t matter who it is: an old, young, mean or nice person, my dog will go up to whoever it is wag his tail and show that person some love. No doubt, the world would be a better place if we were all accepting the way dogs are, but the truth is we are far from it. I find that the more involved in fitness I become, the more I learn that people are narrow minded. Seeing my dog be so accepting to outside people makes me realize that having an open mind is an important ingredient to happiness.
There are thousands of different types of diets, exercises and workout plans to choose from when trying to become fit. In my career I have found some plans work out great for me, and some plans are downright ridiculous. While I usually try to forget about the ridiculous ones, I have found that by having an open mind, I can pick up little tid bits that end up helping me with my workouts. For example, some people live and die by crossfit workouts and some people stay completely away from them. Personally I have found that there are solid benefits from crossfit workouts and some things that I don’t like about crossfit. Instead of hating on crossfit whenever possible, and stay completely away from it. I use the benefits that I learned from crossfit and implement them into my training regimen. My point is this: Never close your mind to different ideas that you may hear regarding the improvement of your fitness. You never know when you will learn that important technique or that diet that will change your life. Experiment with different ideas and find the ones that work best for YOU!