My friends have a wonderful dog named Ozzie who loves agility training. Ozzie has been participating in agility competitions for the past few years. If you are not familiar with dog agility competitions they are the events where dogs are led through a variety of obstacles, such as tunnels, teeter totters, poles and jumps. The goal is for the handler to lead the dog through the course as quickly and accurately as possible.
At one all day competition about a year ago Ozzie had been entered in several events—and as it turned out, one too many events. Part of the course is a long tube that lies on the floor that the dog must run through. I believe it was Ozzie’s fifth event of the day. When Ozzie got to the tube he went in, and didn’t come out. He was tired. He was done. He had lain down in the middle of the tube and was not going to compete any more. Our friend actually had to crawl into the tube to coax Ozzie to come out!
As my friends related this story to a group of us we all chuckled. But it got me thinking…we can really learn a lot from our animals.
When animals are tired they listen to their bodies and they typically stop what they are doing and usually lie down and rest.
One of my students likes to say we are human BE-ings not human DO-ings. And part of being each day is resting. And I don’t mean getting your 8 hours at night. Although that is very important.
Do you find yourself barreling through your day getting one thing done after another and tuning out what your body is telling you? When your body says, “Hey you, I’m tired. I’d like a little break”, what do you do? Do you even hear the message? If you do hear it, do you push it aside and keep on going? Do you convince yourself that you don’t have time to take a break…even for 5 or 10 minutes?
It is actually when you are trying to convince yourself you can’t afford even a short break that you probably most likely need to take one.
Use the simple procedure called Constructive Rest. It’s amazing what 10 minutes free of physical and mental responsibility can do for your productivity level.
Your postural muscles get a respite and might work a bit more efficiently for a while afterwards, allowing you to be upright with more ease and less strain. If you are collapsing or slumping less your breathing will be freer.
Freer and more efficient breathing brings more oxygen to your brain cells and you just might be able to think more clearly!
Take a lesson from Ozzie and take a break when you most need it.
Picture Credit: Picture of Ozzie courtesy of Kathy Walker