Part of living a Fit Life is being mentally fit. If you are not mentally fit, most likely you won’t have the motivation to become physically fit. For some, becoming mentally fit requires therapy. For me, it requires pet therapy. Luckily, I have the opportunity to get a lot of free pet therapy right in my own home.
I have four “pet” children (I can’t call them furry children because two of them don’t have fur) at home.
There’s Bricklee, my 18-year-old cat. I’ve had him since my 22nd birthday. He has lived in three states with me. He has traveled cross-country with me on two occasions, and stayed in numerous hotels. He even went on our honeymoon. He’s one of the most well-traveled cats I know! And he’s been more of a constant in my life than anybody or anything else has. At 18, I know our time is limited. I try not to think about that too much because it saddens me beyond belief. When I'm having bad day or just not feeling like myself, a big, old kitty on your lap does wonders. A cat friend can heal all kinds of ails—broken hearts, job anxiety, PMS. You name it, and kitty love can help.
Then there's Oscar Sandwich—the ferret boy. He's rotten to the core. He steals. Gets into everything he shouldn't. And tends to go to the bathroom right beside his litterbox. But he's cute as can be and hilarious—a complete ham. If you've had the kind of day that leaves you just needing a good laugh, Oscar is your man.
Finally, there are my step-turtles—Spot and Peg. I inherited them with the marriage. They're good turtles. They rarely cause trouble. And I think Spot actually likes to be around people. They don't provide a lot of interaction, but watching them walk around the yard while sitting outside with a glass of wine is a nice stress-reliever.
Mark and I are child-free—by choice. So parenting my pets is the only parenting I know. I wouldn't have it any other way. They save me thousands of dollars in therapy! Some day I hope to add a therapy dog to the mix.
So the next time you come home from work feeling a little down, give it a try. Invite the cat on your lap and tell him a little bit about your day. Give him a little scratch behind the ears. Pretty soon, your tension will start to melt away. Maybe you'll even feel like going out for a run.
- J.J. Kunkle
- I am the owner of The Fit Life, LLC. The Fit Life, LLC offers fitness instruction and nutrition counseling in a holistic way. I focus on personal training using mainly your own body strength--very little equipment. I also hold a certification in holistic nutrition. Because nutrition counseling regulations are very strict in Ohio, I'm still working on what nutrition services I can provide to my clients; however, I'm happy to provide general nutrition information. I enjoy teaching TRX, Indoor Cycling, and Boot Camps.
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