I was relaxing on the shore of a beautiful tropical beach. The serene scene offered soothing moments of rejuvenation. The warm sun and the flow of the waves brought a feeling of muscle relaxation and mental freedom.
Into this milieu rushed a barking, energetic Jack Russell terrier followed closely by its’ owner. The owner was dutifully carrying a bundle of beach-appropriate packages. As I was observing peace-intruding couple, I was expecting to see the dog owner unpack a variety of sun loving toys: beach shoes, hats, towels, cold drinks, surf board, flippers, snorkel, etc.
Even though the owner was dressed in appropriate swimwear, what I saw was amazing. She unpacked a large, 5 gallon, plastic bucket filled with brightly colored tennis balls and a tennis racket. The Jack Russell terrier’s energy level instantly elevated. The tiny dog ran unabashed straight into the ocean. The animal had no concern for consequences. This reaction was obviously triggered by the owner’s actions. The tiny canine was whipped around by the ebb and flow of the waves yet remained staunch in his resolve. The dog turned back toward the direction of its’ owner and waited while being tossed about by the current.
The owner ceremoniously lifted the tennis racket into the air, picked up a handful of tennis balls and, with gusto, began smacking them into the ocean waves toward the direction of the transfixed terrier.
Without regard for life or limb, the tiny dog dove into the waves. After a few anxious moments, the canine surfaced holding three of the fluorescent tennis balls wedged into and bulging from, his small mouth. He enthusiastically ran onto the shore to return the projectiles. After laying the retrieved tennis balls at her feet, the terrier immediately ran back into the ocean to repeat the exercise.
I walked over to the owner and remarked about the unique form of exercise that she had devised for her dog. “Believe me, I have tried everything else and this is the best way to tire him out. He loves it.” My first thought was that everyone should be so lucky as to find a specific exercise that they love to do every day that totally tires them out. One that they do with energy and dedication that fills them with joy and abandonment.
Find your EXERCISE and use your ENERGY!