This is a guest post by Vanessa Rodriguez from San Diego, USA. Vanessa is a keen ultrarunner and she is often accompanied by her dog on her training runs. Here she shares what she has learned about running from Ginger, and there’s a lesson there for all of us.
My dog Ginger is more than my running buddy. She’s my teacher. She never lets me down on a long run, and she constantly reminds me how to run with a pure heart and happy spirit. These are her lessons:
1. Always greet strangers.
No matter how far or fast we are running, Ginger will always stop to greet another dog. Sometimes the other dog is friendly and sometimes they are not, but that doesn’t stop Ginger from approaching. And so I have learned to warmly greet other humans. You never know when a stranger might turn into a friend.
2. Exploring is better than not exploring.
When given a choice, Ginger always chooses to explore. She finds the way least travelled, and charges through the bushes. Sometimes she’s surprised with unexpected terrain, but that doesn’t deter her. She has taught me that the destination doesn’t matter. Only the journey.
3. It’s never too early for a snack.
Food is awesome, anytime and anywhere. Don’t be afraid to eat during or after a hard run. Nutrition is important. And so is carrying snacks at all times.
4. Always sniff the roses.
Or a rock. Or some dirt. Bottom line: there’s always time to stop and appreciate your surroundings. Pause to watch the sunset. Or spot some wildlife. Or pet your dog. Remember how much you love being outdoors and be willing to linger there.
5. There’s always time for a run.
Day or night, if I pick up the leash, I know that Ginger will jump up excitedly. Whether we’re running for five minutes or five hours, she’s up for it anytime. Her attitude reminds me that running is not a complicated activity that I need to always plan in depth. There’s always time for a quick jaunt on the trials.
Running with a dog is rewarding on so many levels. You will never find a more loyal and eager companion. See you out there!
Read more from Vanessa on her blog at Vanessa Runs.