Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Wild

While at the gym with my friend Alexis, the other night, I took a good look around me.  There I was, beating the elliptical machine I was sweating over into submission, when I burst out laughing.  I'm quite sure the 2 people on my flanking machines suspected that I'd lost my nut and it would only be a matter of time before I'd go flying off the machine and the paramedics would haul me away.

No such thing happened.  I regained my composure and looked around again.  I saw a sea of redirected energy.  There were probably a hundred people in that building - lifting weights, huffing and puffing on cardio machines, and dancing in a scheduled class - all working towards the same goal.  Stress relief.

Some might say they go to the gym to lose weight or to lower their blood pressure, but the reality is that we don't get enough stress relief in our lives naturally.  How many of us walk or run to catch our food, scavenge about for food (not at the fridge or pantry) or even show our true emotions without fear of embarrassment?

All the "civilized" customs that we have often cut us off from what we should do naturally.  These conveniences are definitely nice.  Don't get me wrong - I'm not advocating living out in the woods and chewing on bark to survive (although almost every day I have a moment when I wish I lived out in the woods with the dogs).  But this need to physically run in place like a mouse on a wheel, or lift weights the size of tree trunks is culturally telling .  Because if we didn't do these, our muscles would atrophy from lack of use.  And our heads would surely pop off from frustration.  It's our modern way of getting back to that primitive, natural way of using those bodies we're given.

Dogs are another connection to that wildness.  That's why we can be honest with them.  Everything involving dogs links us to the natural - eating, drinking, walking, playing, stroking, sleeping (and the earthiest of all -  pooping, peeing, and for the unneutered - sex!).  But this is why we love and care for them.  They're that little slice of the what we were before all the "conveniences" drove us to pay membership dues to a place where the mouse wheels are stored so we can run in place.

It's enough to make you grab that leash and celebrate the primitive!


  1. Thanks for the reminder!! I've been thinking lately about overhauling my life in order to simplify, get back in touch with the earth and live more ecofriendly. I think it comes in part from lacking that primitive life style you talk about here. And, in the midst of it, yes the dogs are a daily reminder of natural living and were joy is found. Sniffing the grass, running freely through a field, chasing, pouncing on a mouse, sleeping in a sunbeam. The dogs, they know how to live...

    Ah, yes, thanks for the reminder!

    Jen and the Black Dog Crew

  2. Great post, there are many days when the Momster wishes she had the life of a dog:)

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  3. A good run always burns off that stress :-)

  4. I guess we are a little more wild than a lot of others!! We do grow our own food, well not all of it of course but most of it and being in Fla we can grow almost year around!! We love home grown vegetables and greens and herbs!!! I think we eat like Kings......
    xx, Bambi & Fern

  5. It is strange how hard we have to work at things that used to be part of our daily life.

  6. Mama spends a ridiculous amount of time on the human hamster wheel. Now that the weather has tuned nice, Mama is also taking me for nightly runs too. I like that.

  7. I hear ya! Having to set aside time during the day for what we don't get to do naturally is a real pain. I actually go stir crazy running on a treadmill. And even when I don't want to, I find it so much better leashing up one of the dogs, that way we share in our primitiveness together! I think you are right though, having dogs helps us get in touch with our true animal nature and you can't beat that!

  8. Leash me up and let's go! Not to the sweaty gym though ;)

    Waggin at ya,

  9. Timely post, since I got back to my strength training class this morning and can barely lift my arms to brush my teeth! On the bright side however, I've begun running with Lady and I love it!! She's an excellent running companion.

  10. I read all your comments and I think most of you should start some sort of food garden. The more herbs you grow the healthier and happier you all would be!!! That is if you used them daily!!!
    Then you will want to grow tomatoes!! The more you grow the more you are connected to your animal side!! Really!!
    Thanks for your visit!!
    xx Bambi & Fern

  11. Great post! When I get stressed I try and find stuffz to do that I like. Running out back and digging are great stress relievers for me! ;)

    Woofs & hugs,


  12. Thanks for vsiting our blog and leaving a lovely comment :) We love danes as well ;) *hehe*

    This it the first post we come to read on you rblog and we loved it - our human has similar thoughs :)

    Licks and lots of slobber,
    Lexi and Jasper the Danes

  13. So true and what a great reminder but we have also altered our dogs natural rhythms so that they are facing the same issues of obesity, cardiac issues, and depression. In fact one doggie "spa" in town offers your dog walking exercise on a treadmil! How's that for taking the nature of of the beast?

  14. Another great reason to have a dog, to keep us mindful of our wild past and to keep us in shape!


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