Rookie Iditarod Training: Log 2

I had a dream journal pop into my life about a week ago, with directions to catalog all of my overnight visions. I do a lot of dreaming, more than average I expect, but as we all know it can be pretty dang hard to remember what went down. Writing it down, as soon as you wake up and it’s still lingering around in your early morning haze, that is the prime time to take notes. We’ll see how it goes, but I’ve woken up every morning since I got the journal knowing that I just went through some dense dreamwork, with no ability to recall any of it. I might turn the notebook into a platform for ‘real’ life passions and ambitions, because I know that the principles are the same. Write down those good ideas and daily thoughts, as soon as they appear!

Well, the last week of life has been unexpectedly transitional. The dogs and I are now calling Willow, Alaska our home, which is one of the few places on the planet where you can be running dogs and have a head on pass with the mayor and his dog team! I spent my first winter in Alaska with Karin Hendrickson, and now four years later I am twelve miles up the road from her with Linwood Fiedler and his bunch of howling huskies. We are now Iditarod training with some fantastic two year olds and a group of veterans that are familiar faces from the summer on the glacier. Dogs named Fox trot, Jitter Bug, Two Step, Tranky Doo, Haka, Happy Jack, Rogue, Cub and Wayne. The welding of the two groups together really was seamless, and the energy in the kennel is happy and positive. Lots of wagging tails and whistling humans.

We are getting miles on the dogs regularly, this is as much physical fitness as it is mental and spiritual. We really aren’t running too far, or I should say we aren’t really tiring out the dogs at all. As long as they are coming back into the yard with tails wagging, and some pep in their step, we know we are still on the right track! Half of the dogs that I am focusing my attention and training on, are about two years old, and a number of them are relatively new to me. Building a solid relationship with ALL of the dogs in my team is an everlasting progression, even with my personal six pack, but it is essential that I build friendships with these new dogs to where we can trust each other absolutely, to where they know that I am the boss, to where we are all collectively and individually having the time of our lives traveling together, and to conclusively span the length of Alaska in a single week and a half long camping trip.

We have a group of six young dogs, they are surrounded by years of experience in the team, but the main focus is on those young guys! We will train to their level, we will race to their level, and we will set goals to their level. Get as many dogs to the finish line lookin good n happy. A successful race will occur through successful months leading up to the start line, and for now we are still in ‘fall training’. It’s a period of time synonymous with rain, mud, and four wheelers. We can spy on pals living in Minnesota or Scandanavia, and peer into their snowy winter wonderlands via social media, and know that sled season is on it’s way…Hopefully!!

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