Dog Shaming, Part 1

I can’t help myself. After a friend sent me a link to an article on Dog Shaming, I just had to create my own shots. Here they are:

Okay, so I wasn't really sure if it was Yoder or the foster dog, but someone decided my laptop was a delightful chew toy.

Okay, so I wasn’t really sure if it was Yoder or the foster dog, but someone decided my laptop was a delightful chew toy.

AMAZING sounds come out of this dog!

AMAZING sounds come out of this dog!

Yup, that's right.  That's me.  Pee-er extraordinaire.

Yup, that’s right. That’s me. Pee-er extraordinaire.

Notice how none of these pictures contain Sascha? Well, she certainly is the perfect princess, or is she? Wait for Part 2!

Success

MoneyYesterday morning, I was kind of half-listening to the radio, when I realized the station I was listening to was airing a program about how to succeed. I appreciate this little community radio station and I often think their programming is distinct and interesting, so I started to listen a bit more closely. Soon, I was struck not by the methods the program recommended to succeed, but by the definition they used of success itself – which came down to making money, and lots of it. It really wasn’t a surprise, being that I live in a capitalist society, but it did seem a bit, I don’t know, perhaps, well, narrow – the making of money, the making of more money, the making of the most money.

Now, I’m not against having enough financial wherewithal to have a comfortable life (and I suppose, we could argue endlessly the definition of “comfortable”). But to me, success is so much more than money. It is moving forward. It is being happy. It is changing course when moving forward is not the right direction. It is awakening every day and trying your best to be the best runner you can be, or the best artist, or the best garbage collector, or the best dog-owner, or, well, the best whatever.

I feel that I am often successful (of course, not always – there must be the yin, along with the yang).  Although my 100-mile run attempt has yet to come, and I may or may not be “successful,” I like to think that moving in that direction, taking one step forward, and then another, and another, either literally, or figurtively, or both, is what defines success. Perhaps I’m just consoling myself early for a potential DNF, but I don’t think so. I will try my hardest and with the most gumption I can drum up to finish. And I think that spells success.

How do you define success?

As long as I can

Tablet and Lost Wonder Hut Feb 2013 014The 2 big white dogs and I were out galavanting around with my hubby and friends this weekend up at and around the Lost Wonder Hut. They totally plowed through, sometimes staying in the ski track, but often forging ahead and post-holing over and over (talk about some heavy-duty interval training!). My friend Alexey turned to me after a particularly difficult uphill section and said, “So how long can they keep this up?” I began calculating their ages and what I presumed to be the end of their best fitness ranges and then I thought “I don’t know – they could keep this up for years.” And why not? If it’s fun, and they aren’t destroying their bodies, how could I deprive them of what they love, and of what they do with such joy and abandon? So my response was, “As long as they can.”

And I think that is my philosophy too. Some people like to tell me that long-distance running is potentially dangerous and injuring-producing and bad for me and hard on the joints and all sorts of other horrible things, and then they ask “How long are you going to keep this up?” My response will be the same as for my dogs – “As long as I can.”

Another backcountry ski trip…

This weekend, we go on another backcountry ski trip to the Lost Wonder Hut. The 2 big white dogs have rested all week and are raring to go.  I’m psyched too, except I probably won’t get my marathon training miles in.  My plan, way back before the ski trip got organized, was to do 7 miles on Friday, 8 miles on Saturday, 15 miles on Sunday.  Instead I will ski approximately 2 miles with a heavy pack on on Friday, unknown miles on Saturday (all dependent on conditions, dogs, cold, weather, etc., etc.), and 2 out with a somewhat less heavy pack on on Sunday.

So, we got running-woman-copia  versus Dawn Patrol skiing

I realize that I could just dump the running and consider the skiing as a sort of cross-training. Or, I could get totally gonzo and force my husband to leave early Sunday so I can get back home and get a run in, although it would be nowhere near the miles I “should” be doing.

So I have myself a bit of a quandary. Most likely the running miles will go out the window, and I will not be the worse for wear, but you get in the running mode and you always wonder if some time off will hurt, right? I’m not the only runner out there who gets a bit too into it, am I? Perhaps, I’m just a bit too neurotic. Perhaps I just need to ski and be happy that I have the opportunity to do so.

I believe the skiing will win out. Back to the miles on Monday, here’s hoping!

A Wild and Precious Life

Vagabond Feb. 2013 100

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver, “The Summer Day

Well, I know what I did this past weekend ~ I got to commune with a fabulous crew of friends, and dogs, at Vagabond Ranch.

As is often the case, the 2 big white dogs took prominence:Vagabond Feb. 2013 075

But some fun was had by the humans too.  Vagabond Feb. 2013 071We skiied and snowshoed, we played in the snow, we ate, we soaked, we spent time just being in the wilderness.  Vagabond Feb. 2013 089We laughed, and we lived life well.  I’m not sure if that is a good enough plan for this one and precious life, but it is, at least, a start.

What is your plan?