Dog walking 5. Exercise
After 5 weeks of not being able to leave the property due to level 5 hard lockdown it was very exciting to get back on the streets for our daily dog walk. Six a.m we were at the gate and ready to go, dogs even more excited than us. We were keen to see what, if anything, had changed over the lockdown. Quite a lot had it turns out.
Trees that were just beginning to turn from summer green were now brown. Some houses had "For Sale" signs up and some had replaced "For Sale" signs with "Sold" signs. Verges were much more unkempt due, I suppose, to gardeners not being at work. There was a lot less litter on the streets and, very noticeably, much less dog poop. On that subject, I really wish people would clean up after their dogs. It just seems wrong to have your pets mess left all over other people verges. We carry biodegradable bags and while it's not a pleasant task to clean up after our dogs, it is the right thing to do.
On that first morning's walk after the lockdown there were a lot of people out and about getting exercise and walking dogs. We were happy to see the people we would normally see on our walks before lockdown, and pleasantly surprised to see people new to us reclaiming the suburb with a morning walk. I was expecting the numbers to quickly drop as people got over the novelty and went back to work but that hasn't really happened. I am sure there are more people walking now than there were before lockdown. Exercise is of course mental and physical and of benefit to both, very noticeable when you are deprived of it.
At the beginning of the year I made a personal commitment to carry a camera and take photographs on every walk. I have stuck to this and have been immensely rewarded in the process. My photography has improved and my awareness and sense of being present on the walk is greatly enhanced. Honestly, I feel like an idiot for not thinking of it earlier. I have been walking dogs in the morning for about 8 years, why only now with a camera?
At the end of the year I intend putting a small self published photo book together with an image taken from every week of the year. Fifty two images and 12 blogs to remind me of what is turning into an interesting, challenging and rewarding year.
It really has been a time of tremendous personal growth. More on that next month I think.