Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ebb and Flow

Anything I chose to do, whether it be train for triathlon, making soap or preparing a meal; I put one hundred percent of myself into the job. This can be good and bad. Good because I've experienced perfection with my "balls to the walls" effort. Bad because I'll "burn the candle at both ends", taking on too much and finally burn out.

I'm about burnt out with triathlon training. I guess that's why I haven't posted for awhile. I don't have much positive to say about training right now. I'm just getting through it. I'm been even more grouchy during the last week because I had to cut out weight training to prepare for Pinehurst Olympic triathlon on October 7th.

I'm feeling like a big blob of Jello. All cardio, no weights. My diet had to change too, I have to eat a lot of carbs to keep my cardio fueled. I was bonking hard with little carbs and mostly protein. All the lean muscle mass I put on the last three weeks will be gone by the 7th. I will have completed eight triathlon races my first season!

Looking back over the last year, it's hard to believe I've only been seriously training for nine months. At midnight on Jan. 1, 2006, I signed up for all eight races on-line, I think Woodlake was the only mail-in. I don't know why I chose eight but like I said, when I commit in my mind, I go all out. In hindsight, I think it may have been too many. All these new experiences: sprint, double sprint, Olympic, half-ironman, pool swim, lake swim, ocean swim, racing Falcor in the rain or on sand and gravel roads, flat pavement running, trail running, beach running and Bandit's Challenge DAM running. I have been blessed to be strong and healthy enough to have all these new experiences in less than one year.

It's been a lot of learning. I've met some great people and some real fucktards. I've won and I've lost.I laughed and I cried. Some days, I feel like I can run like a wild gazelle through the woods
but when I'm forced to use a treadmill, I feel like a baby elephant. I learned to expect and be prepared for the unexpected race day. Last week, I ran in the rain just because.

I literally threw myself into triathlon in January. It was new, exciting and addicting. And now, like many things in my life, I'm tired of triathlon. I think I'm tired of feeling pressure to perform well. I just want to train because I like it! I'm tired of worrying about the next race on a monthly basis. I'm really hating the bike right now. I'm enjoying running because the weather is so beautiful outside. It feels lovely to have the windows open!

I hate the bike right now but March-May of this year it was my favorite, I used to hate running. I got sick of making soap last January and devoted most of my time to cooking and training. I have spent more time in the soap shack the last two weeks than I have the entire year. I have been a soap making fool. I'll post some pictures tomorrow. I have really missed it but didn't realize it until I had to make some soap for the holidays for my family. I've set a goal to make 72 pounds of soap per week until December.

There are three things I really love and enjoy in life. Exercise, soap making and cooking. I just have to find balance. Too much cooking and I don't run as fast. Too much exercise=no soap making=no money.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

My Missy Girl

I have already written about Mama's Boy Monty. I haven't told you about the true guard dog of the farm, Missy.

Missy came into our lives when I contacted a local Doberman rescue. She was much like many of the abused or abandoned dogs. Starved and scared.

She didn't have much faith left in humans. She didn't want you in her face, on her level. Because she didn't trust you. She didn't really care if you pet her or not because she probably didn't understand that type of love. She was just used as a puppy factory machine. When she didn't have a healthy litter, the backyard breeders quit feeding her. We found out months later because Missy was having legs problems after hikes that she had been shot with a shotgun. She has over 80 buckshot embedded in her rear. She keeps on protecting this farm though.

It has been baby steps with Missy. It has sometimes been a struggle. Missy taught me it takes a long time to earn trust and you cannot compare individuals. Everyone has their own story, everyone has their own flaws and everyone has gifts too. She taught me acceptance.

Missy loved her crate when we brought her home. When I'd vacuum or we'd have a thunderstorm, she run and hide in her crate. Her crate was her den, her safe zone. Monty viewed his crate as a prison. When he graduated out of his crate, he never slept in it again. He figured out the bed was much more comfortable. It took months for Missy to even jump on our bed, with tons of coaching from me. Still, today, it's rare Missy will even come into our bedroom unless she's scared or trying to tell me something while I'm sleeping. She only jumps into bed with us when there's a thunderstorm scaring her and once when I was crying really hard.

Monty was the showboat, superstar at obedience classes. It wasn't Missy's cup of tea. She wasn't really excited to be there but she enjoyed the boiled beef heart treats I'd made for her. It always seemed she was nervous and watching her back around other dogs. It was hard for her to sit straight from the buckshot in her ass. Missy could heel perfectly though. She pranced around the ring, "I'm special, I'm shining because she loves me enough to boil beef heart and stink up the house. Your owner is feeding you Beggin Strips???"
I'd come home with raw knuckles because Missy could sometimes get over-excited about beef heart. It was a great bonding experience for her and I. We completed basic and intermediate obedience classes. Missy told everyone that tried to trick her to go through the tunnels,"fuck you". She never ran one tunnel. Too dark, too confined, too scary.

Missy hates squirrels. About four years ago, I was hiking with Monty and Missy and she took off after a squirrel. She'd usually tree it and come running back. I guess she got carried away and followed it too far into the woods. After about 10 minutes, I started getting concerned she hadn't caught up. Monty and I stopped, I called for her. "Missy, Come on girl!" I then blew the "You better come RIGHT NOW!" whistle. No Missy. I kept telling Monty to go find her but like I said, he sticks to me like glue.

I started back tracking, I called and called. For over an hour. I started getting really scared. I decided to walk back to the ranger's house and ask him to take me out on his four wheeler to call for her. I knew him pretty well because I used to hike almost every day with the dogs.

When I was clearing out of the woods to get help, I heard her dog tags clanging. She was panting harder than I have ever seen and she collapsed at my feet. I thought she died of a heart attack right in front of me. Dobermans are known to have cardiomyopathy. She kept on huffing though.

Then, I saw her feet. The pads were torn off and they were bleeding. Some had 1/4 inch of skin hanging from them. I somehow carried her out to the trail entrance and she didn't protest about me invading her person space. No grunts, no struggling when I wrapped my arms around her and held her, I'd have to carry her and then stop for a bit. I screamed for help when I got to the parking lot and ranger got my keys. He drove my car over and helped me load her up. The vet cut off the skin and we had to wrap her feet for a few days. She was more upset she couldn't go for walks with Monty and I during recovery.

Missy is a natural born mother. Any baby animal that I bring inside, she will protect. The kitties and Monty better back away from baby goats or they will get their head's ripped off. Missy adores goat kids. She will cry if I don't let her in their pen. Last year, one doe had triplets in the middle of the night. I didn't find them until the next morning, they were premies and had hypothermia. They were all females too. I brought them all inside and rushed two to the vet. When I came home, Missy was snuggling with the baby in the photo above. The baby wanted to nurse. Missy did not leave her side.

She's learned how to love and trust. She's forgiven but doesn't forget. When it's deer season, she'll come flying through the doggy door shaking with fear at the sound of a shotgun. But she's the first one out the doggie door when she hears the chickens screaming for help because the fox is back. There have been nights that I hear Missy go barking out the doggy door over twenty times. We must have a lit sign over our farm flashing, "Chicken, duck, goose, peacock, BUFFET!" Missy protects. If Monty is feeling especially valiant, he'll stand up in bed and bark.

Monty knows who's boss in this house too. If Monty tries to take take her bone or chewy, she just has too look at him sideways and raise her upper lip.
I think she says, "Monty, bitches rule, dogs drool!"

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I Have Learned Another Lesson

I'm sorry I have been so absent. I am not here today to tell a funny story. My heart is heavy. Someone that was very close in my life that I loved and thought of as a friend has betrayed me and hurt me deeply. I am shocked and confused.

Hateful and ugly words spewd from her mouth while she belittled me in front of an audience. I sat and listened. If I am proud of one thing, it is my self control. I did not stoop to that level, I did not reveal her inadequacies in front of others. When belittling me didn't break me down, she revealed a sacred secret. Hell, she even used a post in this blog against me.

The lesson I have learned is to not share so much of myself. I will not be so vulnerable and allow myself to get hurt this way again. I am ashamed and embarrassed I was played for such a fool.

To my once so called best friend, who loved me so much, I have a few parting quotes for you.

"Blowing out another's candle will not make yours shine brighter."

"It is human nature to hate him whom you have injured."

"The best revenge is a vow to never be like the one who hurt you."

"You may kill me with you hatefulness.
But still, like air, I rise."

Sorry for such a downer of a post. I will return soon with happy stories. I am thankful for triathlon training. Working out has helped me feel better during this difficult time. Don has even been coming to the gym and lifting weights with me to be encouraging. It's sometimes hard to choke down chicken breasts and protein shakes though. Tomorrow will be easier because I know that time will help heal my wound.

Happy, fun stories next time. I promise!