A while back I began getting up early and taking jogs, as often as I could. As a result, combined with dieting, I lost thirty pounds. I have since loosened up a little on the diet, as I am currently just trying to maintain my weight and not lose any more. But I still get up regularly to have some active time for myself.
Up until now, I headed out alone, and jogged around town, sweating and blasting upbeat music in my ipod. And then, a few days ago, a combination of things changed my daily rhythm. One of these things was the fact that, after 9 in the morning, it was already sweltering hot, and walking the dogs at that time with Rafael was not very enjoyable. The second thing was that, Raffi was getting a little bored with our morning routine, and our friends kept asking if we wanted to join them on morning trips, which we couldn't go on because of our long, slow walks with the dogs. The third factor was, I really missed taking photos in peace. I had a big Canon macro lens just sitting in it's box, because it was too heavy for me to lug around when Raffi was with me.
So, the other day, instead of jogging alone on the sidewalk, I put the dogs on leashes, hung my camera with the macro lens attached around my neck, and headed into the woods. It was a gorgeous August morning, and early enough that the air was still comfortably mild. I power walked up a steep wooded hillside so that I would also get a little bit of a workout, and then took my time snapping photographs. Not only was I happy, the dogs were absolutely overjoyed, running and sniffing and exploring paths that would have been impossible with a stroller.
Our morning walks in the woods aren't especially long; depending on when I wake up they are between 20 and 45 minutes. But they make a huge difference in my day, and for the dogs, and also for Rafael, who can now go to the zoo or the playground in the morning as a change of pace.
Now that I have reached my fitness goals, I am so glad to be pursuing my creative ones; taking photos in nature is one of my favorite things in the world, and I have missed doing it regularly for quite a while now.
I also finally have a bicycle! After a pretty serious bike accident in my teen years, I was afraid to ride, but with the encouragement from my husband and friends, I hopped on again during our vacation in Salzburg and loved it so much that I got a bike when we came home. So, on cool mornings when there's a breeze, I take a nice bike ride to neighboring villages for a change of scenery. It has given me an amazing sense of freedom.
These are some photos I have taken the past few mornings.
In the cool, shady forest on foot:
And in the sunny fields on my bike:
What a big difference this small change in daily schedule has made in my life!