Sunday, January 29, 2012

I've Been Busy

I just realized it has been a week since I blogged!  Apparently I've been busy.

It feels like Roller Derby is taking over my life.  It consumes my thoughts and my spare time.  But in a good way, so I'm not complaining.  I've had some sore muscles lately.  After our fitness testing they were sore from sudden use, but after practice last Sunday they were sore from misuse.  I strained my right quad and my left groin muscles.  Skating and walking were generally pain free after the first day, but bending at the knee (like when I did falls or lunges) didn't feel so hot on my quad.  I left practice on Tuesday without even making it through warm-up.  I practiced with the Fresh Meat on Friday and just avoided falls and activities that might make me fall. I've got practice again tonight and hopefully it will go well.

We have a house guest this week.  Micah has come to stay with us while my sister's family is enjoying Disney World.  I was a little worried about how Lacey would greet her and while she wasn't a very gracious host during the first few moments, they are now playing and getting along like they used to when we fostered her last winter. Jack has his nose firmly out of joint but Micah has a healthy respect for cats and doesn't chase or pester him.  He has been venturing out in the evenings and will cuddle on the couch with us even if she is in the room.

The rescue has been busy bringing in more dogs so I've photographed four of them in this past week.  I have the best volunteer job ever.  :)

I also have a presentation today on Pet Photography for the Lethbridge Photography Club.  I've been busy putting that together, as well as making sure the technology I have is compatible with what I need.  I've ended up borrowing a friend's MacBook so that we can get it to work. Fingers crossed! I haven't talked in front of an audience in a few years and I'm a little nervous.  I also don't think I have a lot of "ground breaking" information so I'm worried I'll bore the audience to tears. I'm hoping pictures of cute doggies will save the day.

I think that's it... Well there is always work too of course.  The dogs all seem to have their winter crazies at the moment.  The dogs don't tend to get as much exercise in the winter due to the cold and the early darkness so they end up extra crazy at work because they are letting off a week's worth of steam.  The definitely keep us on our toes!

I've run out of things to say to fill the space between my random photos from last week. :)

I hope everyone else is having a good weekend!  I'll try and get some photos of our houseguest this week.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Random Coulee Pics

The snow is now melted and the weather is much warmer, but I figured I might as well share the photos I took of Coulee on the day we went out in the boots. As you can see, the boots don't change her enthusiasm one bit.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lacey's New Boots

Lacey hates her new boots.  The first time she wore them, she couldn't move.  Not even an inch.  She stood in the park like a statue and wouldn't walk, wouldn't run, wouldn't even turn around. I walked halfway across the park and she just looked at me over her shoulder with a sad look on her face.

Today she wore them at the dog park.  At long last, she could move in them (it did take a solid minute for her to jump out of her crate though).  She had two speeds - a bunny hop and stopped.  She wouldn't play, fetch or come when called.  She would keep up with me, but not venture off the path.  I could get her to run to me only if I promised cookies.

And then I took them off she went from calm and serious...

... to wild, crazy and sassy in a matter of seconds.

She lifted her feet a little bit due to the cold, but she soon forgot about the cold and just had fun.

I hope we'll have a little more progress with the boots next time.  And maybe even get a smile while she is wearing them.

This Ain't No Game

Derby is a sport, and these ladies take it seriously!  What team sport have you ever played where you play 12 games a year, yet you practice 3 times a week - ALL YEAR LONG?!  And that is just the Derby practices, that doesn't include the jogging, weight lifting and other stuff these ladies do in addition to the regular practices.

We did a Fitness Test last night and it has left me feeling: inspired, weak, awestruck, and as with everything in derby, just a little embarrassed. ;)

In a nutshell, the fitness test was 7 stations that involved running, push-ups, sit-ups, and jumping.  They did the same test 4 months ago, and we'll do it again in 4 more months to see our progress. Cherri Blaster posted about the last test with explanations about each station.  If you want, you can read about it here.

I didn't expect to be stellar, but I'd forgotten how hard a simple push-up could be.  LOL.  If you read Cherri's results from 4 months ago, keep in mind, mine are nowhere near as good (Cherri is a machine!).  I don't have my results yet, but when I do I'll post them here just so I can find them again in 4 months.  The only ones that I can remember were 10 push-ups and 23 (I think!) sit-ups in a minute.  I wasn't too surprised by the push-ups (they were big kid push-ups from the toes) but I thought I could do more sit-ups than that.  I apparently have some work to do.  Oh and I scored a 4:0 on the Beep Test.  Apparently I'm good enough for the Canadian Military, but woefully behind most of the derby girls.

Derby is the first time in a long time that I've actually enjoyed exercising.  I look forward to practice every single time.  I haven't had to drag my ass there. I haven't tried to find excuses not to go.  I want to be there and I want to get better. I'll admit, part of it is that I don't want to be the "worst kid in class" and I don't want to embarrass myself.  But I am and I do and I'm working at getting past that.  But I also feel accountable to them. I don't want to let them down. I don't even know where this pressure is coming from because it isn't coming from the players - at least not consciously.  It is weird to be motivated by a source outside of myself, but maybe that is the trick (at least for me) to stay on track with exercise and hopefully it will be the start to a healthier lifestyle.

And god knows I could use a healthier lifestyle.  I was rushed to get there on time last night and I ended up eating a chocolate bar and an orange juice for dinner.  How's that for a good start to a fitness test?!

Pictures are from the Dethbridge Dames vs. Tar Sand Betties game back in October.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winter at Last

Well we've all been crying for the wind to stop and it has.  But it has been replaced with bitter cold temps.  The high today is -41 C with the windchill.  Brrrr.

That will result in short sessions outside for the pups.  Yesterday we went out for 2, 10 minute play sessions.  I threw the frisbee as hard and fast as I could and they ran their little buns off until they were frozen.

For Lacey, that tends to happen sooner, rather than later.

But if I can distract her, she is usually good for at least a few minutes longer.  And snow means her favourite game is back...

Snow Taco!!  She loves to scoop up snow and then shake it out.  She does it over and over again.

I'm off to buy Lacey booties today and I'll dig out her sweater too.  Ahh winter.  Now that you are here, I can't wait for you to be over.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Coulee the Psycho

Bionic sent us some toys to try out and I thought it would be nice to send them some photos as a thank you.  So before releasing them into the daycare, I took them on a dog walk with Coulee and Lacey.

It was a normal walk for the girls.  They ran and fetched.  I took photos.  Things were fine.  But then I got home and looked through the photos.  Coulee apparently LOST HER MIND.  Almost every photo of her shows her looking like a complete psycho.  (Oh and I totally jinx myself with that belly comment as suddenly it is showing up everywhere.  If by some miracle she didn't look deranged in a photo, she had her bare ass belly hanging out.)  I give you proof of the insanity....

Oh look!  Coulee is looking like a normal dog!  Yeah!

Hold the phone.  She's gone again.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bald Belly

As promised...

Winter at Last

We finally got a skiff of snow the other day.  It has been the warmest (and windiest) winter I can remember.

The girls had a blast.  Lacey was wild from start to finish and Coulee was her usual fetching machine.

Coulee's feet are doing OK - her right feet look really good, her left feet don't.  I wish they were a little more co-ordinated, but they didn't seem to bother her much the other day.  We've been taking mellower walks lately as she has had the camera (and fetching and taking video does not work) and we took a rest day after our big snow walk just so that we don't push our luck.

Her hunger pains have gone back to just her usual enthusiasm for food and there is peace again in the house.  We've already almost gone through a whole bag of kibble and we need to decide what we want to do food-wise.  Kibble is just soooooo easy.  ;)

She has a huge bald belly from the ultrasound that shockingly hasn't been showing up in many photos (I haven't be purposely hiding it).  I'll have to post one some day soon just so you can see it.

Hope everyone is enjoying winter as much as we are!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I'm a Derby Girl!

When I started learning roller derby a few months ago, there is NO WAY I would have thought I'd have improved enough to become a "real" Derby Girl by now.  I was like Bambi on skates that first night.  I could barely move without falling and spent a LOT of time falling on my ass.  If I was not the worst person in class, I was very close to it.  It just goes to show you what a few good instructors can do!

These were my skates after my first practice in them.  They look WAY more beat-up now!
To play roller derby, every player in the league has to pass a test that involves skating, stopping, falling, jumping, hitting (checking), whips (using your arm or body to help propel another player) and more. If you are really interested in seeing what needs to be done, you can check out the test. Last night was our big test and much to my surprise and delight, I made it!  The worst part of the test was skating 25 laps in 5 minutes.  It felt like forever and by 2 minutes my lungs were burning.  I coughed all night they were so raw by the end of the laps.  But I made it.  Just.  As in no seconds to spare.  :)  

Jumping over a 3 inch bar is always a little scary for me too but I had the most graceful feeling jump ever!  I did manage to blow one of my stops.  It was rather embarrassing.  It was literally the first or second part of the test and I just could not do it. I thought I had blown it right then and I'm sure it did not make a good first impression.  But it worked out in the end.

I've decided to just referee at the moment.  I've heard about girls getting injured during games and even just practices, and that worries me.  Apparently it isn't a matter of if, it is a matter of when, you get injured.  Bruises and stuff don't scare me, but I need to be able to be fairly nimble and stable at work and with so few co-workers, it would really put a strain on them if I was off work for a few days or weeks.  I realize injuries can happen no matter what I do, but there is no need for me to go out looking for some!  But we'll see.  I can always change my mind.  :)

The whole derby environment is like nothing I've ever experienced.  Everyone is encouraging, welcoming and has helpful advice. They were all cheering us on during our laps and most of them had never even met us before.  It was awesome. It is so weird for a large group of women to be so nice! LOL.  I've joined a few other sports teams as an adult and it has always felt awkward, forced and uncomfortable for weeks and some times even the entire season.  I didn't once feel that way about derby (well I felt awkward, but not in a social sense).  It is hard to explain, but trust me, it is a good thing. A very good thing.

I am a little worried about skating with the "Big Kids".  I made the mistake of watching some of the things they were practicing last night - it was scary and tough looking.  I can't make the Thursday night practices for a few months though so I'll keep skating with the "Fresh Meat" twice a week and the Big Kids once a week.  I'm hoping that will be enough that I don't fall too far behind.

Overall I'm hoping Derby will help make me a healthier, fitter and happier person.  So far, so good!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Coulee's Pics

So the helmet cam also has a setting that allows you to take a photo anywhere from every .5 seconds to every 60 seconds.  I set it up to take one every 30 seconds.  I figured 100 photos wouldn't be too bad to go through.  This is the best of what she captured...

This is how most her landscape photos turned out.  :)

I'll admit to straightening this one.  :)

Notice Lacey in her "rightful place"?  :)

She took a picture of me taking a picture of us.  :)

Yes... that is her eating poop!!!  

The drive home