19/04/2013 by Sarah Ritchie
“There are very few days of the year so inclement that you cannot walk your dog.” I read these words over 10 years ago but they are burned in my memory. They seek to taunt and chide me every morning, when the rain is pouring down outside, and my dog is gazing at me with imploring “I need to walk” eyes.
This morning was one of those days. A tropical storm was blowing in from the Pacific, breaking New Zealand’s long drought. This was no mere April shower, and no incentive to step outside my dry and cosy home.
Thanks to a series of doggy garden misdemeanours we are now confining our dog to the garage while we are away at work. The only problem is that our beloved pooch has to “hold on” all day.
To avoid discomfort (and a possible explosion, which yours truly would have to clean up), it is my parental duty to walk our dog each morning. However, on mornings such as these, I have been known to perform quick mental arithmetic, calculating the maximum number of hours I think he can hold on for (I know, I feel ashamed in those moments).
Sir Edmund Hillary once observed that “you’ll never be cold if you dress for the conditions”. I took the chance that he was also talking about driving rain, so I donned my rain jacket (my umbrella having given up the fight last winter), and ignored the “I can’t believe you are taking me out in THIS” look, and stepped out the door. My internal battle to begin walking was conquered (in that short moment) by my paramount concern for our dog’s bowels (we all have to have a motivating reason!).
Yes, we were both completely soaked. Yes, I will be sloshing in wet shoes tomorrow morning. Was it worth it? Yes, he did his business; mission accomplished.
It made me think about the other things in life that we are hesitant to do. Often we look out our “window” on a situation and perceive barriers to action (real, imagined or convenient). These are times when it is far more confortable to stay inside and keep warm and dry.
We know if we put our foot out the door it will probably get wet. It may be bothersome, or hurt a little. It may be scary or embarrassing (many cars passed by me while I was standing in the rain).
The thing is, once you’re wet, you’re wet. There is a point where the concern about GETTING wet is overtaken with the realisation that you ARE wet. It’s at that point you start to acclimatise to the wetness and work toward achieving your goal.
The next time you are faced with a tough task, I encourage you to put on your mental raincoat, step outside your comfort zone and start walking.
Remember that skin and raincoats do dry out eventually, and a walk in the rain is often worth the wetting!