As published in the Mountain Mail on February 8, 2019...Do you like challenges? When you adopted your dog into your household, was it sort of a challenge? Was it a subjective challenge to yourself, such as “I’m going to make this dog very happy?” Maybe it was a more objective challenge, such as “ I’m going to exercise this dog every day.”Typically a challenge results in an action (ex. walking your dog). The action may result in a habit (ex. walking your dog daily). The habit might turn into whom you become (ex. A fit person with a fit dog).The definition of “Challenge” in the Cambridge English Dictionary is “(the situation of being faced with) something that needs great mental or physical effort in order to be done successfully and therefore tests a person's ability:” The definition of “action” by the Oxford Dictionary is “the fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim.” The definition of “habit” by Merriam Webster is “a usual way of behaving or a tendency that someone has settled into.”The definition of “self-concept” by the PositivePsychologyProgram is “the overall idea we have about who we are and includes cognitive and affective judgments about ourselves.” We are what we think we are. Setting challenges and succeeding at them gives a person the opportunity to have a more positive self-concept.The City of Salida Recreation Department is currently offering challenges through its SalidaFit 2019 Winter Challenge. Local businesses are partnering with the recreation department by offering various challenges. When the challenge is accomplished, you get a raffle ticket. Raffle tickets are drawn weekly and then at the SalidaFit party in Soulcraft Brewery on February 28th.Two dog-related, and free, challenges include:Walking up to Loyal Duke’s Gravesite and
taking a picture of yourself. Visit Gathering Grounds for more details.Walking on a weekly Paws for Exercise hike with your dog. Visit the LaurasDogTraining.com website for more detailsOther (free) challenges include fly fishing, walking on a trail from Mountain Goat Lodge, taking a 30 minute plus bike ride, signing up for @WeighandWin, hking up to a vista, doing a series of workout exercises, cooking a healthy meal, taking a yoga class, cross country skiing, rock climbing, hiking, Kayak rolling, attending the Salida Winter Ball, riding the ski bus, attending a water fitness class, swimming at least ¼ mile, etc.For more information about these and other challenges, contact Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center at 539-6738 or pick up the Official SalidaFit19 Challenge List at the pool. For a digital list of the challenges, go to City of Salida Recreation website. The pathway on the recreation website to view the various sponsors, their specific challenges and a list of their donated prize is: SalidaRec.com > Recreation > Official SalidaFit19 Challenge list.> (then scroll through the various sponsors).Ready to take a challenge? Ready to make a change in yourself?Laura Pintane is a local dog trainer and a member of Salida Dog Club, which created Loyal Duke’s Dog Park.