We have had a few walks with Ray now that have lasted an hour or longer, and have noticed a difference in him (no real surprises there)! He is much lighter on his feet during the walk, and definitely “bouncier” when we get back and let him run free in our back garden.
Yesterday was very typical of the “rejuvenated Ray”! Once free in the garden, he found one of his tennis balls and did the canine thing of picking it up and throwing it into the air. He then went silly chasing it down so that he could repeat the process, and this went on for a few minutes until his enthusiasm clearly dropped. We then re-introduced him to “Fetch” which was probably the same game from his perspective… except treats were involved!
Watching Ray leap around the garden like a spring lamb has always fascinated me. Part of that is no doubt due to Ray being my first dog, but the rest is simply the ease with which close to 80lbs of dog can almost fly… and make it seem effortless.
I am reminded of the various international marathon races where the first few runners across the finish line are clearly tired, but still running in excellent form. How can anybody complete a marathon (42Km) at a continuous sub 4:00 minute/km pace and still look remarkably good, when I am fighting for air and general survival at a much slower pace? How is it that I can sprint around a 400m track once, and feel totally exhausted, yet these international athletes can run at my 400m sprint pace for km, after km, after km? Of course the answers to those questions are pretty obvious but, when you realize that you are working hard at a (e.g) 8:00 min/km, or even a 6:00 min/km pace, you have to be amazed at those international level runners!
I used to coach a running group for all road races 5Km to Marathon. At one point in time, a young girl joined my group who had a gymnastics background. Unfortunately for her, she had grown quite tall and compact was the desired gymnast build at that time.
She became the envy of so many of my group because she had long legs, and watching her run was like watching a gazelle run across the plains! She had a lovely long stride and seemed very relaxed. It seemed effortless!
I was the only one in the group at that time who could keep up with her so I had a few opportunities to run alongside her, and that changed my perspective of her completely. While she was maintaining that effortless stride around the track, she was sucking air as hard as she could! As elegant as she looked from a distance, the sounds that she was making were not so elegant! In a nut shell… she was working really hard.
So now I look at Ray as he “throws” almost 80lbs of body around effortlessly and I wonder, just how much effort is he really putting into these antics. Is it really that easy for him, or is it a complete deception. He does seem to stop without showing any inclination to collapse, but I have caught him breathing quite heavily so I suspect that he, like my young lady runner, has an image that simply misleads!
It seems that life is continually reminding me that rarely is anything exactly how it would appear to be!