Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sofa King Cold

Who ordered all this cold? And the snow and ice that won't go away, who's bright idea was that? I'm a native Chicagoan so you'd think I could cope but still, there's a reason I moved away from that frozen tundra lo the many years ago. I'm used to mild winters-40's and 50's with occasional snow that looks pretty then melts in a day or two. I can't remember the last time I saw black snow. I keep thinking that things are back to normal and going outside without enough clothes on or opening the door to let a dog out at night to be greeted by an unexpected blast of arctic air. I took Lola for a 20 minute walk on my lunch hour last Thurs. intending to drop her off then go back out for a quick 15 minute snowshoe run but it was so cold even at lunch time with the sun blaring that my face hurt and I didn't have enough warm clothes on. Once I got back to the office I couldn't bear the thought of going back outside so I poured another cup of hot tea, put on another fleece jacket and said to hey with it. It finally went up to 25 degrees on Friday and it felt like a heat wave. Of course I went out to snowshoe way overdressed but I didn't care, I wanted to feel the rivers of sweat running down my back, even it was for only 15 minutes.

Since the weather's been so bad and I can't do much outside I figured this was as good a time as any to make an appointment for the chiropractor who I haven't seen since the car crash almost 2 years ago. For those with chronic back problems, and that would be me, a good chiropractor is worth his weight in gold so I was at a loss when I found out that mine had retired and was off in the wild somewhere hunting moose. Thanks to the magic of the internet I quickly got a recommendation from a rather accomplished ultra runner and got set up for a back cracking on Monday. I'm very leery of chiropractors in general but the previous one did a great job of keeping my various issues under control where nothing else worked. This new guy went through a very thorough exam, explaining everything in detail about the sources of my back pain and how he intended to deal with it. Next thing I knew I was lying on my stomach on a 'traction' table with my ankles strapped down and a ginormous bag of ice on my back. He turned some cranks and pulled my ankles straight back, joking that it was just like being on a rack. Oh but it's not over yet folks. Then he rotated the lower half of the table so that my legs were rotated about 50-60 degrees from my waist. Then he left me there. Then 'Don't Worry, Be Happy' came piping into the room. That song is so very wrong on so many levels but the whole situation was so completely absurd what else could I do but laugh? After 15 minutes or so of that he came back in the room and commenced with the back and neck cracking. It was not pretty. I can't ever remember the adjustments sounding so loud or feeling so extreme but it had been 2 years and one fractured pelvis so I suppose it wasn't too surprising. In fact I went back on Friday for a follow up and the adjustments felt very subtle by comparison. Thing is I feel a lot better and I can turn my head all the way to the right without any pain. He gave me some core strengthening exercises that are supposed to help specifically with my running, we'll see if I can keep up with those. He did say my core strength was above average which I found shocking since I haven't done any core work in months and I have abs of Pillsbury doughboy on a good day.

The only agility practice we had all week was an indoor lesson with Cody on Monday. Silly boy was running wild again, must be the cold, but he hit all his weave entries and didn't pop out at all. He looked so solid in those poles that I could have set a bomb off and he would have stayed in. If only my yard would defrost so we could get some practice at those entries. The main challenge for the night was teaching a tight 270 degree post turn/wrap around a jump, something that proved quite challenging for Cody's big strided jumping style. I don't think it's a move I would try in a trial but it was good practice for getting him to watch me and collect himself. By the end of class he was wrapping nicely.

I signed up for a Julie Daniel's seminar in a few weeks. There were only working spots left in the intermediate session but maybe that's for the best. In fact there will probably be an opening in the advanced session but I would have to take a day off work for it. Also, they're focusing on finding the fastest way through a course using video/Dartfish software to compare different handling moves on the same course. The intermediate session is focusing more on communication with the dog which will probably be a lot more helpful to me. I wish it was only 1/2 a day, 8 hours is way too long for Cody and even for me for that matter. I may leave early or opt to audit toward the end if his brains start to fry. We have a NADAC trial the day before but I didn't enter everything and I can always leave early. It was only $8 a run and I'm going for practice and somewhat out of desperation since there isn't another non-AKC trial until April and we need all the ring experience we can get. I'm tempted to make up my own course if the one they offer isn't challenging enough since I don't much care about Q's in NADAC anymore. I wonder if that's too much of an abuse of training in the ring. Certainly I've had runs where Cody has inadvertently made up his own course and the judge didn't whistle us off. If he can make up his own course why can't I? With all the practice we're not getting in he may very well make up some interesting courses anyway. Maybe I'll try to dig my way into Biscuit Eaters tomorrow but shhh, don't tell my chiropractor.


  1. I haven't done NADAC in 2 years, so I'm out of the loop, but when Tika was younger, we did several NADAC trials where I redid contacts and redid them and redid them, and weave poles, too, I think, and all we ever got was an E. No one ever scolded us or even said anything about abusing our ability to train in the ring. And I've known people who do part of hte course different to avoid certain obstacles. Do you know any NADAC judges you can ask? -ellen

  2. You are lucky to enjoy life in the snow. I've only seen snow back in China once and it was a pathetic smatter of ice. I would like to do the things you do so often sometime.

  3. I don't know any NADAC judges. We had one in the area but he gave it up years ago. I suppose I can ask at the briefing.

    Raymond, I would happily send you our snow, it's all yours. And yes, it's snowing again this morning.