Friday, February 11, 2011

The interview

If you've any significant time around me, you have seen me turn a corner too tight, trip on the floor, get my shirt caught on a door knob and be flung into the wall, etc. Well, I am finally being recognized for my walking skills... I was interviewed yesterday by CNN for a story they are doing on being accident prone. Most of my friends know that this is right up my alley!
CNN sent out a request for stories from accident prone people and three different people sent the call to me, so I decided to write in and low and behold, I was chosen to be interviewed. Here is my submission...

“Accident prone” is one way to describe it, but “accident waiting to happen” is another, equally appropriate way to describe my astounding grace. The running joke with my friends is that walls jump out in front of me, doorways move, or the display case on the corner of the aisle moved with the sole purpose of tripping me. Let’s just say that I have an uncanny ability to turn corners too tight, lose my balance, or miss the object which I had full intentions of leaning against. There really doesn’t need to be anything there for me to trip on, as I have been known to trip on the floor, my own feet, or any crack, crevice or slight abnormality in my path.

I don’t just walk into things, no, I even attract accidents. Last year, I was involved in two fairly serious traffic accidents, both of which were CLEARLY not my fault. Once, I was stopped at a stop light, and the girl behind me didn’t notice that everyone in front of her was stopped because she was texting. She hit me going about 35 mph. The next time, someone decided to flip a u-turn in the middle of a highway, right into the side of my car. Who does that? Thankfully, the dogs and I were fine in both cases, barring some lasting back issues related to the accidents.

Oh yeah, there are also the accidents that happen while I am training or competing with my dogs. Let’s see, I have stepped in a hole while sprinting twice, tearing a ligament in both ankles and stretching the ligaments in my knees. Have I mentioned yet that my physical therapist loves me? One of my favorite stories happened a couple years ago at a dog agility trial. I was the next dog in the ring, to run a friend’s dog, when he jumped in the air and head butted me in the mouth. I was still in shock as I walked into the ring because I was missing about three quarters of both of my front teeth. I got about three jumps into the course when the pain got bad enough that I stopped, the dog ran off to his owner, and another friend came to see what was wrong. After an emergency trip to the dentist, I now have my two front teeth back.

Now for one of my most embarrassing moments, and one of the stories my friends just love telling… Have you ever jolted yourself awake, maybe after a dream where you’re falling and you’re about to hit the ground? You know, when you set bolt upright, thus awakening yourself from a deep sleep. My first year of college, I did that a lot, and only once was there any issue arising from the experience. I lived in a dorm with cinderblock walls. When I jolted awake, my up was not up, but rather over. I whacked my head right into the wall and knocked myself out. On the bright side, I slept the rest of the night, but unfortunately the next morning I woke up with a splitting headache. Regardless, it makes an excellent story to be retold by countless friends.

So, am I accident prone? A couple dislocated ribs, ligament problems, a couple car accidents, at least one concussion, a couple knocked out teeth, and a whole bunch of laughs later, I feel fairly confident in answering a resounding yes.

The funny thing is, the day after I submitted my story, I broke a toe by tripping on a roll of astroturf. That made my grand total of broken bones a whopping two (the first broken bone was another toe when I tripped on a lawn mower parked in my parents' garage).

Anyway, the point in my sharing this is that I feel one of the most important things a person can learn in life is the ability to laugh at themselves. Lately I have been around all too many people who take themselves WAY too seriously, and was reminded by this interview how refreshing it is to simply laugh at the crazy event of the day.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Visitor and Tag update

We have a visitor. This is Miner, and I think he is quite the handsome devil. He is visiting me to get some socialization, and where I am around campus, the farm, training, college students, dogs, sheep, etc all the time, I offered to take him for a few weeks to work with. Miner really seems to be enjoying his time here and is starting to open up. He gets to go on runs with the gang and is starting to really dig in with my girls. He goes to classes with me, to both farms, and even got to help me work on the wool lab this week.
On one this week's walks.
Miner supervising the wool lab organization amidst the wool

He is here at the perfect time, as this is such a busy time for me around the university. This week was sheep shearing, so I spent three FULL days at the school farm working sheep, packing wool, trimming sheep feet, and teaching kids about wool and shearing. For the most part, it was fairly enjoyable, although I had one REALLY bad day... let's leave it at, it was a bump in the road and I am extremely thankful for my dogs and good friends to help me through the rough times.

Tag's News

Today Tag had an AWESOME agility training session! We did a couple dog walks, all of which were really nice. We stuck to almost straight approaches and exits, just trying to get the confidence back and boy am I happy! Also played around with some course work... wish I had video because I am really pleased! I am having tons of fun with my girl, and am so excited about what we are doing together.
Herding wise, she is also doing quite well. I wish we had some sheep to work on a daily basis, but working once or twice a week, I sure am pleased on the herding front as well. Again, I have got to get some pictures and video.
We are still dealing with some lack of confidence and softness, both in agility and herding, but I think it is at least getting better. I tend to think maybe Tag is coming in heat, and thus acting odd. I don't know, but am sure glad to see it diminishing.
Oh yeah, Tag is now weaving 6 poles and hitting some pretty hard entries. I'm very proud.