Friday, July 26, 2013


CHANGE!  It's hard man.  Even when change is wanted and needed, it's still hard to adjust to it.  And it's scary.

I talk about how Furry Husband and I changed up our lifestyle... eating much better foods, moving more etc.  We started going to a crossfit gym in our area and we did crossfit for a year.  That year is up and I think I have decided to not pursue crossfit any more.

I appreciated a lot about it.  I appreciated the bonds I formed with the other people we worked out with.  The support we all gave each other and seeing the same faces each day was really cool.  Getting to know new people and they were all such GOOD people.  Truly good people.

I learned how to really push myself and see what I was capable of.  I learned to push past the point that my brain said stop, it's too hard.  Not into pain or anything like that - but you work out and a lot of time we still stay in our own comfort zone.  We reach a point and think well, that is good enough.  Only, I discovered, we are capable of so much more and that was a pretty cool thing.  Confidence in myself and my ability really soared.

These are good things!

However, there came a point where I thought to myself... well, what IS the point exactly? 

I read a lot of fitness articles by various coaches.  Not so much that I'm all ADD of lets do THIS...oh, wait...180 and lets try THAT... oh... look over about THE OTHER!

I found fitness in a way is very similar to Dressage... there can be a main philosophy or message/method and you find people that say that message in a slightly different way.  Those people all follow that general methodology and yet, they say things in ways allowing you to think about something from another angle.  Even though your main Dressage instructor has been telling you the same. exact. thing.  --- sometimes you hear it from another source and you have an "aha!" moment.  The messages all support the same goal/method.

I kept reading from some people I found most consistant and explanatory and who all followed the same basic methodology.  Dave Hedges of Wild Geese Fitness in Ireland (, Tony Gentilcore of Cressey Performance in MA (, Martin Rooney of Training for Warriors (, Nia Shanks of Lift Like a Girl out of KY (  and most recently Man Bicep - another woman YAY! - out of CA ( 

We have DVDs from Dan John workshops we are watching and a couple Dan John books as well as a Pavel Tsatouline and Mike Mahler kettlebell books... we have some e-books from Dave Hedges on programming, bodyweight moves and Nia Shanks for some weightlifting.  We have LOTS of information. 

I read them online regularly and they link to other articles/authors that fit within their philosophy.  And in all of my reading, there is a lot of info out there about crossfit that isn't so great.

I was aware of these ideas going in to crossfit.  I kept them in mind while working out in crossfit... and I guess after a while, I began to think about what those negatives meant to me.  As the weights got heavier and I got stronger and I looked at other programming from other strong/fit people and saw that many don't believe in complex lifts under weight until completely fatigued.  You just don't see a lot of people doing a heavy olympic lift 60 times in a workout... well, unless it's crossfit.

And then my elbow began to have trouble... and Dave began to have nagging hamstring things going on.  We saw friends we worked out with complain of nagging injuries...and a few that had serious injuries.  And I can't say they were a direct result of something in crossfit, however, it just caused me to think harder and pay closer attention.  We both felt tired and beat up all the time.  Both Dave and I talked about how we missed seeing some linear progressions and we missed working on things we enjoyed in a way that we could eventurally master them.  Like pistol squats... they only come up in crossfit workouts once every 3 months and I didnt' have enough "umph" left in me to practice them on my own.  It would be fun to incorporate stuff like that, master those moves - along with other things we want to learn.  And how the crossfit workouts are pretty high milage and did we have it in us to keep doing them long term...for years and years? 

I decided, I did not have it in me to keep going.  I don't see the point any more.  Furry Husband and I began to talk more and more and decided to step back.

So it is totally scary to us because yes, of course, we made a lot of gains while working hard at crossfit.  I can't say it's "bad".  If you are aware of the negatives and you love it and you are sure to take care of any injuries you might get (just as with any sport)... more power to you.  I'm not going to become a crossfit hater.  I think we both learned a lot this past year even if we decide it's not for us in the long run. 

So we wonder what the next fitness chapter is going to be.  I don't want to lose what I have gained in muscles, strength, endurance.  Crossfit is all we have known for a year. 

Honestly, the bodyweight stuff still gets me geeked - pullups, pushups, squats and the myriad of variations.  Kettlebells get Furry Husband geeked....  we are reassessing our goals and creating some routines/programming to incorporate both things.  It is good to think for yourself... even tho it is a little scary and unsure.  It is good to question and think about things vs. accepting everything sort of blindly and just doing it.... because.  You gotta have that why and know what your why for doing something is.

It's interesting.  Not easy - but it is certainly interesting.

We will be cleaning out our bunkhouse this weekend to make a dedicated workout area for winter time or inclement weather... otherwise the great outdoors is our playground and we'll be experimenting with lots of moving using bodyweight, kettlebells, dumbbells with plates, a sloshpipe, a pullup bar, sandbags, tires, sledgehammer, and even a pulling harness to strap into... can't wait to strap myself to the ol' Subaru stationwagon and pull Furry Husband down the road....

Wonder what the neighbors are gonna think about THAT?  grin. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Missing in Action....

I know.  Totally been ignoring "the blog world".  shrug.  It's not as if I ever have world changing or riveting things to write about.  And I have felt so BUSY lately.

My job is busier with more responsibility which is a great thing!  The new "lifestyle" Dave and I are living - no, no, no - not the swinger lifestyle you dirty people!  grin..... but the fitness lifestyle has eaten up a lot of time.  And it's not really the working out part... it seems to be the food part.  Preppingand making good, healthy food every night takes time.  Or maybe both of those things together...

I am still riding my red mule, Sera Sue.  I am still taking agility lessons with Little Toe.  And all of that leaves me running it seems from 4:00AM when we get up to 8:30-9:00PM at night. 

Not that I am complaining.  I love my life and the people in it and I have full control of cutting back and making choices to do that.... it's just .... I don't want to!  I want to fit it ALL in... which is hard to do and blogging just really seems to falls by the ol' wayside.

And if you don't write, people don't read and then your blog, which was small to begin with, withers down and atrophys and then it's just a little online diary for your own shits and giggles.  And I'm coo wif 'dat.

SO!  Where do I begin?  Let's talk dogs.

We lost our old dogs... both Sammy and Bequia died about 4 months ago.  They were 12 and 13 respectively.  We were sad, however, they were well loved and cared for and were very much a part of our lives and days... how can a dog ask for more?  We were lucky to have them in our lives for as long as we did.

We lost Keenan - our problem child dog - that was the hardest thing we've ever been through because she was very young when she died and the difficulty we experienced with her in almost every way really made us question our ability to be good dog owners ever again.  Somehow I think us humans focus in on our negative experiences vs. the positives.  So even tho we had past success with Booker, Sammy, Bequia and Little Toe ... we just thought after Keenan we maybe should not own dogs cuz we were incompetent. 

I'm glad that didn't last long.  We started looking and tried working with rescue groups to find another dog to come into our lives even tho' we were pretty nervous and hesitant about it. 

Here is what we discovered.  Rescue groups can be difficult.  I know they totally mean well and I'm sure there are many rescues who work quickly.  However, the first rescue group we worked with has us interviewed over the phone by 3 different staff members to make sure we were ok on paper.  We had a house visit.  We had to talk with a behaviourist.  More interviews.  Then when we finally met a dog they wanted to pair us with, they decided they didn't like our fencing.  It was absolutely maddening.

We moved on to another rescue group... they moved more efficiently.  However, they couldn't get to a home visit which was necessary in order to adopt a dog because we were remote comparatively to their HQ and weeks went by.

Finally we said, "fuck it"... pardon my had been months.

We went to a humane society in Boulder, CO.  We filled out an application, looked at all the dogs held inside, visited with one and brought her home.  The Boulder shelter partners with high kill shelters in other states.  The dog we brought home is a year old, female, cattle dog mix from a high kill shelter in OK.  She is an absolute JOY to have around.

Furry Husband is taking her to a basic obedience class and I have started playing around teaching her a couple tricks... she is very fun.  She loves all things canine and is happy to see people of all ages, shapes and sizes - big and small, she loves them all.

She is full of such happiness and while quite leery of us at first... any time we had something in our hands like a shovel or rake or apple picker she stayed very very far away... think she was not treated very well wherever she came from.  She figured out very fast that we are not the hitting sort of home and her confidence has blossomed.  We named her Shorty... it somehow just fit her. 

So - rescues - while absolutely needed in this world and I believe they have the very best intentions and I think there are probably many that are very very good at what they do; I think many have made it so difficult to actually adopt a dog that they are missing the larger picture. 

I get it... I totally get that they don't want dogs coming back and they don't want dogs ending up in bad situations again.  However, in my opinion, it would be easier for me to get pregnant and have an actual human baby than it was to try and adopt a dog from the rescues we contacted.

I realize all rescues are not this way.  However, by the time we went through the hoops of two rescue organizations, we were fed-up by the process and just wanted to adopt a dog that needed a home. 

So we did.  And it is a beautiful thing...  

Cheers and happy Friday!