Monday, February 2, 2015

Walking With a Happy Heart in February

Many folks take a harsh view of February. Due to interminable wintry days that make Spring seem so very far off, they see it as the longest month instead of literally the shortest.

For my part, I am a big fan of February. Just about everything February is suggestive of hope and happiness. So here's wishing one and all a happy February.

February is a wonderful month for ramping up a walking program. Sure, there may be a little crunch of snow underfoot, depending on where you live, but the days are gradually increasing in length, and you can see the colorful birds searching for food a little longer each day.

February is when the first little flower -- the crocus -- usually pokes its pretty head out of the ground, sometimes right between thin sheets of ice or snow. It heralds all the blooms that will follow not so many weeks distant.

February of course brings St. Valentine's Day, an occasion for celebrating love, sweet love. Chocolates are always nice, and so is a glass of wine. But February brings many other happy occasions:

National Bird-Feeding Month. American Heart Month. National Wear Red Day (especially for women and heart health). Groundhog Day. Presidents Day. And in Canada, Family Day and also Flag Day.

Of course, there is the Super Bowl in the good ol' USA the first Sunday of February. To me, the happiest thing about the Super Sunday spectacle is that it means the first stirrings of baseball's Spring Training are only two weeks away.

It is personal to me that so much of February is about heart and the heart. It was just two days after St. Valentine's Day 10 years ago that I had heavy-duty heart surgery -- complete replacement of aortic valve and aortic root -- that made it possible for me to continue my journey into the senior years and to enjoy the blessings of being a grandparent. Yes, my 10th re-birthday is fast approaching.

Every February my Sadie dog (who has been my walking companion every step of the way since I hit the big 6-Oh and then continued into the oh-oh 70s) has her thorough "wellness" checkup. She had that exam today and got a good report for a 14-year-old lab retriever. I have some pills I can give her as needed when arthritis seems to be wearing on her. Other than that, she's not into meds -- in stark contrast to me.

So Sadie the Superdawg and I are looking to step up our walking this February, and we wish happy hiking to all of you who may be doing the same. Happy trails! And play ball!

                                               © Robert G. Holland  2015

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