The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Liz R. Kover
Animal Assisted Activities Director Marleys Mutts Dog Rescue 

Fitness, the 'frisky' way

It's a Dog's Life

 

Do most of us look back at our experiences in middle school PE with fondness and pride? Or do we cringe, remembering all-too-painfully the emotional torture of being picked last for a team; or reliving the nearly-constant stitch in our sides from begrudgingly running that lonely, treacherous mile that seemed never to end? I, for one, associate that time in life with a kind of default state of adolescent discomfort. Body was awkward and changing; ego was fragile. Sense of self shaky at best, and on full display (or so I feared) for all to see. In other words, I was as insecure and vulnerable as every other thirteen year old girl in ill-fitting gym shorts.

As a younger kid, I had ripped up my neighborhood sidewalks and parking lots on a skateboard, through just about every hour of daylight that wasn't taken up by school or homework. A tomboy with a pink Mohawk and Batman-themed Chuck Taylors, I never thought of skating as exercise, only as something which induced the high known as "flow", where, in my state of mind, there was no space for negative self talk, only fun, speed, wind on my face, friends, and a new and exciting challenge every day as I worked endlessly to improve my "ollie".

Like many in my position, I avoided PE at all costs as I got older. Unfortunately, this was easy to do, as all but one semester of physical education throughout four years of high school was not required, but merely elective. Those early associations with physical activity in a gym setting had been so negative, they conditioned me to very much dislike anything and everything related to "working out". That is...until I fell into my career working with dogs.

I started out small, pet sitting and walking dogs for a couple of ex-teachers. But after a while, I was walking and running with dogs for a living. I could not believe that an activity so awesome, which felt nothing like "exercise", was also good for my health, and yielding income at the same time! I decided then that my life's work would be to share with others, the joy of physical fitness as experienced through the vehicle of canine companionship. Very soon, I will be bringing the happiness, effectiveness, and fun of canine coaching, through the Frisky Fitness© curriculum, to PE classes across Kern County. Stay tuned!

 
 

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