In the mood for a cliché? Sure you are. Here's one: A smile is a frown turned upside-down.
Barfing yet? No? Good.
In an effort to be as positive as possible, I've been trying hard to plaster a smile onto my face in as many situations as possible. I even push out a chuckle here and there. And the odd thing is that it really works. I feel happier and more positive about things.
Last Friday, I started a running program to see how I would do. I took Rascal with me, thinking I'd be able to get him some exercise while I was at it.
Rascal is a creature of habit. He gets up, I let him out, he pees, he eats, he goes back to bed. Hubby gets up and eats breakfast, and then he takes Rascal out for a 40-minute walk. Then he hangs out, sleeps, maybe plays a little, barks out the window throughout the day. Then, I come home, and I take Rascal out for another 40-minute walk. Needless to say, he is well-exercised and is pretty happy all-around.
So, on Saturday morning, I changed things up a bit. I let him out, he peed, then he came dashing in for his breakfast... except, instead, I put his leash on and we headed out for a run. He thought it was fun for a while, until realized he couldn't linger at his normal stops as he normally does. It went something like this:
"Oooo! We're running!" he'd say. "Oooo! I need to sniff this post!" And he'd stop, and I'd run past, his flexi-leash slowly extending to full length. It would tug, and he'd be pulled away from his spot.
"Uh, hey... I wasn't done!" But then, he'd start trotting along, reluctantly. Then, a ground squirrel would dart across the path.
"Oooo! Squirrel!" he'd say, and he'd zoom past me, ears flopping along, nearly pulling my arm out of my socket. He'd stop to sniff the hole the squirrel disappeared into, and I'd run past, flexi-leash extending... and then, a tug, and he'd be off again.
"Oooo! We're running!
And so it continued.
I could have been frustrated, but I chose to laugh each time I saw his ears flopping away as he raced past me, or at the perplexed look on his face as I ran past him. "What the heck... Mom doesn't usually go that fast... Oh well. Oooo! We're running!"
It made for a relatively easy run, punctuated by small amounts of Rascal's silliness. The best part was when we approached a lady walking ahead of us, and he started thinking we were chasing her. He looked back at me as he trotted, then back up at her, and then he started getting faster and faster, wagging his tail in delight, until he dragged me up behind her. When he touched his paw to her leg, she jumped a bit. Luckily, she thought it was cute (Rascal, not me) and stooped down to pet him as I ran past.
"Gotta go!" he said. "We're running!"
I don't know if I'll be able to take him with me all the time, but it made me realize that the tough things, like running, really are made better with a smile.
And hey, if I make it to my 10K in the fall, I'm gonna have an even bigger smile then. Until then, Rascal can help me feel the burn.
Jane Fonda has nothin' on him.