The Personal Trainer told me I have to exercise forty minutes a day so every morning I get up early to go for a walk.  I bring along Harper. She quickly caught on I am no longer waking to immediately go to work, so she is now excited to see me rise. I already sense I am being trained to wake up prior to the alarm.

At this time of the year the early morning is the best time for dog walks. By 8AM Phoenix quickly becomes too hot and humid. Indeed, the concrete in 105 degree heat becomes hazardous for dog pads.  At 530AM is light enough for relatively pleasant stroll.

It is a good idea on paper, trying to kill two birds with one stone by walking twice a day AND getting the dog her exercise, but Harper is not interested in quick ambulation.  She likes to stop and smell all the posts and bushes. She doesn’t respond to commands as well as she used to do. I sense a sort of snippy ‘No, I want to stay here!’ attitude.  All the same, she loves her walks, especially the park. The park by our house consists of an open field irregularly shaped, surrounded by a sidewalk.  If the coast is clear, I let Harper off her lease so she can run circles.   Meanwhile I can pick up the pace and make some circles around park, making sure I don’t get too engrossed in the iphone, lest I loose track of Harper, or (worse yet) trip over something.

I haven’t had many profound thoughts during these early morning walks.  Being clever before breakfast is terribly tedious and should be avoided, at least until tea.  Evening walks are better for contemplating Life, The Universe, and Everything.  Sometimes there are young men at the park shooting hoops. They are a heartwarming spectacle. Sometimes there are ‘urban youth’ surrounding a few cars and mostly with their noses to their phones, texting ‘hell for leather’ as my Uncle Milo used to say.

It is too early to tell if these twice a day twenty minute jaunts have translated into any loss of weight. Harper is pleased in the rise of activity, and I suppose I am as well.

Soon the light and the temperature will start to fade, and the walks won’t be so steamy.

Just as I feel trim enough to walk shirtless, I will need to keep it on for warmth’s sake.