Why we love early morning walks
6 am alarm.
Don't you just hate it?
I was working for a business which required for my alarm to go off at 6 am most mornings and occasionally at 4 am for the early shifts. I used to hit the snooze button a fair few times, then realise that I was late for absolutely everything, frantically run around trying to get dressed, brush my teeth, find shoes, keys and handbag. I would then run, I repeat, run to the bus stop praying I would not have missed the bus, blaming the whole world for the fact that I am late. Again. Daily I used to spend my entire journey longing to not to have to go back there anymore.
And then I left my job.
But I kept up the routine. Waking up at 6 am on my own terms felt amazing (it did take a few weeks to disconnect and distress my mind and body; then it was finally over).
Snooze button became derelict. I wanted to get up and get on with my life. After all, is 6 am not the hour of legends?
So here we go 6 am, the light is starting to beam through the curtains, the alarm goes off, I switch it off and count to 50 (no idea why, a habit). Cat pops his head in the bedroom with a hopeful "meow" and now I also hear a little whining at the bottom of the stairs.
Oh yes, it's time.
I wash my face. Get dressed. Pour coffee into my travel mug. Poop bags check. Treats check. Water bottle check. Lead check. Tennis ball check. I put my headphones in.
This is the time.
Our bonding time. Exercise time. Mindfulness time. I put on my inspirational Youtube playlist. For the next hour and a half, we are going to have the best time. Lily will run and sniff her heart out and I will listen to some epic speeches to inspire me to live my best life. Without a fail. Every day.
Here are 3 reasons why I absolutely recommend waking up at 6 am to take your dog for a walk.
For me and the dog. 6 am starts every day, even when holidaying abroad.
You are going to buy yourself more time, more of this incredible day full of choices, chances and possibilities you will never ever have again.
You have gained yourself an extra 1.5 to 2 hours you didn't have yesterday. To do whatever the hell you want. Read? Write goals? Watch Youtube videos? Meditate? Exercise? Read the paper? Watch the news? Daydream? Paint? Finish yesterdays pizza before everyone else wakes up? Buy something expensive online prior to guilt kicking in? Oh yes, you can. The time is yours.
After spending 90 minutes listening to an inspirational material to advance my personal growth, by the time I get back home absolutely buzzing, bursting with delight and positivity; I am ready for the day ahead.
These morning walks are great for my soul. They make me a better dog mum. Better wife. Better human.
Lily spends the rest of her day blissfully snoring on the sofa – she is exhausted and content, gathering energy for the round two. You know a happy dog when you see one.
Before the shower. Before the breakfast. Before I brushed my teeth I get to do some exercise. Some days its mere 90 minute walk through a lovely scenery.
Some days it's a gentle jog through the park.
Some days I manage to fit in some squats and sit-ups on the outdoor excising equipment. And some days it's a sprint whilst yelling my head off racing after Lily who has picked up a new scent.
And some days it's a fetch game where I throw the ball and fetch it myself as Lily is off to do some important dog business.
Starting my day outdoors breathing in crisp fresh air, feeling the blood pumping around my still sleepy body, stretching out the muscles in the morning sunshine allows me to appreciate this life so much more.
Lily gets to run around without any distractions of other dogs, I don't have to worry about keeping her right next to me away from dogs on leads, families with small children, people playing ball etc.
It is the 90 minutes of freedom. Freedom to sniff and roll and dig and jump and run and pounce through the long grass and do all the other stuff dogs dream of.
You know what else it 630 am is? It's the national squirrel hour – when all the squirrels decide to come down from the trees for their morning snack. No wonder I have to play fetch with myself.
Very rarely will there be anyone else walking their dog this early. And if there is – they are like-minded people following their own morning routine, enjoying their own personal journey.
As I sit on the bench bathing my face in the morning sunshine, I enjoy the peace. The birds singing. The smell of a wet grass. Slow wind breeze. And one crazy dog speeding from left to right chasing all and every squirrel in the field.
My mind is at peace. My heart is happy. My thoughts are silent.
I'm free from everyday stress and troubles, they are not awake yet. I'm free to focus, free plan ahead and ready to welcome joyous and loving thoughts.
Eventually, a very happy and exhausted dog will walk over to me and collapse on my side to catch her breath. I will then scatter some treats around in the grass to keep her mind and nose occupied for a little longer. I've just bought myself an extra 10 minutes to sit here and appreciate my life.
Before we had Lily I would have never woken up this early to watch the sunrise, listen to birds singing, sit and watch the world go by.
Headphones back in and we head home.
Oh my, I might just have to carry her.