“Pawl what are you doing?” Rosie asked.
Pawl was jogging on the spot, his round belly jiggling side to side with the movement.
“I’m doing what they call ‘getting into shape’,” he said. He stopped jogging, wiping beads of sweat from his forehead with a paw. “Tell me – is it working?” He turned to one side and then another… “I still look a little tiger-shaped. What do you think?”
Rosie stifled a giggle: “Well, what shape were you hoping to be in?”
The tiger sighed, “I don’t really know. They just said on TV I would get into shape if I jogged regularly. I’m still not sure which shape.”
Rosie started to laugh. “Getting into shape doesn’t mean changing into something or someone else. It means becoming the best version of Pawl you can be and becoming fit and healthy so that you can enjoy life more.”
The tiger sighed again. “But if I’m supposed to be enjoying life more, how come I’m not enjoying this much? It’s a little boring. I’m not even going anywhere. I’m still here in the living room, where I started out.”
“You have to find something you enjoy doing,” said Rosie. “Maybe jogging on the spot isn’t quite right for you.”
“Something I enjoy doing …” Pawl thought for a moment. “How about using my tail as a skipping rope and jumping? Or bouncing up and down on my tail? I learned that from a book I read about a bear and his tiger companion, Tigger.”
Rosie nodded. “But I have an even better idea. Why not, instead of jogging on the spot, try jogging to somewhere?”
Pawl hadn’t considered this before. “Think of all the places I – we – could go …” he said, dreaming of all the adventures he and Rosie would have as he became a fitter, more Pawl-shaped tiger.
That day Pawl learned something important. Fitness wasn’t about punishment and trying to mould yourself into someone else. Rather, it was about becoming the best version of you, and about enjoying and experiencing life to the fullest.
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