What I learned from dog sledding

by Theresa Marie Abec, FLT Columnist

Theresa Abec Column Pic 2

Life presents opportunities and situations for us to grow. One can be faced with life lessons in daily encounters or even in an unexpected vacation adventure and for me it was a recent dog sledding trip with my family.

As I first prepared to harness the dogs, they began to howl, bark and yelp with excitement. They were thrilled to have the opportunity to “run”; they were born to run and it seemed like they knew it. Wow, what a life lesson for us to know what we are born to do and then to do it with excitement! I don’t know how many times we forget our purpose in life or let negative thoughts talk us out of what we were born to be and do, even sometimes living life apathetically as if bored.

Next I was instructed to select from a few dogs that were the “lead” dogs. These dogs are identified when they are still pups as having leadership skills. One of my lead dogs ran in a peculiar manner, almost like he was running sideways. This dog ran in an unusual manner, but he was still a leader and got the job done better than most. Life lesson: sometimes we are the leader and that is something that should not be downplayed. Embrace the chance to lead in our own way, letting go of external pressures of what is “normal” leadership.

As we ran the course in the blizzard conditions, I was cold and could barely see because of the heavy snowfall. I was somewhat uncomfortable. These dogs peed and pooped even as they ran the course. Another life lesson: keep on track and make the best of every situation even when circumstances are difficult. So many times we whine and complain, wanting things to be just perfect and let these life distractions slow us down or even totally derail us.

Are you doing what you are born to do?

Theresa Marie Abec is a Board Certified Clinical Counselor and welcomes new patients looking for assistance with mental, physical and emotional life goals. She provides treatment and diagnosis for adults with mental health issues specializing in: substance use disorders, stress and anxiety, self-esteem issues, depression, grief and loss and overall health and wellness challenges. To schedule an appointment with Theresa call Serenity Health & Wellness Center at 419-891-2181.