October 08, 2012

Teaching a New Dog Old Tricks

So hang in there, this will eventually be a post about exercise, but first off, meet Seashell, the new Cranky Fitness spokesdog!


So who is Seashell and what the heck is she doing here?


Well, Seashell is a virtual pet, but she's still loveable, loyal, and obedient. Plus she's cheap to feed and never chews up shoes or craps on the floor.

And the reason she's called Seashell?

Partly, it's because between Crabby and the Lobster, there's sort of a marine theme going on at the blog. But more importantly, I've got a book coming out (looks like early November) and a life coaching practice to pimp, and I need someone cute and credible like Seashell for marketing help.

Seashell: she sells!

(Down by the Seashore? Why yes, now that you mention it.)


(Note: if any of you out there are photographers with an adorable pet, and want to show off your photoshop skills and can isolate said pet on a white or transparent background, and include a nice sign I can write on, Seashell would love some company! And why would you want to do that for no money and just some tiny attribution at the bottom of the blog? Um... to pursue your artistic passion and nurture your creativity?  Um, yeah, that's it!)

But anyway, the whole teaching Old Dogs New Tricks/New Dogs Old Tricks idea actually popped into my head as I was out exercising the other morning.  Because it occurred to me that in my quest to keep from bailing on exercise all these many years, I've had to try a lot of tricks to mix things up. Many of which stopped working for one reason or another.

But, I've grown and changed a lot as the decades passed and I now see a lot of things differently... mostly for the better. Which means that with a new mindset and attitude, I am in many ways a New Dog!  And I've discovered that this means I can revisit Old Tricks and resurrect them when things start to get a bit stale.


Old Trick, New Dog:  I used to love to run a lot until plantar fasciitis intervened, then I had to stop. Mixing up my cardio between running, biking, and elliptical was my favorite Old Trick for keeping things fresh and I really missed it.  After more than 2 f-cking years, I'm once again tentatively running again every now and then, but I am a whole new dog!

 "What Do You Mean, Crabby?"

Well, New Dog pays attention to what her body says and lays off immediately whenever she starts to  feel any telltale pangs in her paw. And she deals with obstacles a bit more flexibly.

For example, I had a lovely run two weeks ago but could tell I overdid it, even though the twinges didn't happen until a day or two later and were relatively minor.  Nonetheless, I forced myself back on the elliptical and bike until no more twinges.

And then boy oh boy was I excited to go out for a run on sunny blustery fall day.  I had the perfect location in mind and a Sensible Plan!

I decided to cut running mileage by doing my own slacker biathalon, biking up and down some lovely rollercoaster hills to a nice soft trailhead where I would then commence to run. And then I would bike back. Brilliant, no?


Whee, let's take Crabby for a ride!

(And yep, this is my east coast bike, an old pal purchased for cheap at least 15 years ago, not the new San Diego bike that broke my arm and got stolen twice that I loved dearly and still pine for).

Anyway, this meant I already had a good start to my workout when I arrived at the trail.

Old Dog, Old Trick:  I am still the same old dog in that I head out with plans in mind and forget to think about pragmatics like whether it's been raining like hell for the past few days.  Thus this was what a good third of the trail looked like:


Ooops.

Old Trick, New Dog: So one old trick I use when my plans are thwarted is to back off immediately from obstacles, curse mightily, and soldier on the best I can with another alternative.  In the past, water hazards on the trail meant a retreat from running and a longer grudging bike ride to make up for it.

But New Dog is more optimistic than Old Dog, and decided to look for opportunities to bushwhack around the approximately 6,742 road-spanning swamps that appeared on the trail, and worst case, get her spoiled little tootsies wet.

Bonus discovery: Running up sandy hills to avoid lakes is good work for your calves and quads and ass!




And, voila, the plan was successful and Crabby made it to the prettty part!


Another Old Trick the New Dog used was bringing her camera phone to feel like the exercise was also counting as blog fodder.

But unlike Old Dog, New Dog actually took pictures with said cameraphone and even downloaded them and posted them to break up all the boring blappety blah blah blah details of her exercise routine!

New Dog also resurrected an Old Playlist that sounded great after many years of banishment.

New Dog is thinking of resurrecting some other Old Tricks like picking up some additional workout toys to play with, investigating classes at the gym (when she returns to San Diego in a few weeks) and getting her butt out the door at night for some more after-dinner walks. 

What about you guys? Are there any Old Tricks you might revisit as a New Dog? 

Seashell by Jill Fromer, purchased from iStock; quizzical dog: freedigitalphotos.net


38 comments:

  1. Seashell's nails need trimming So Much that I cannot focus on anything else. Except that if the water had been a little deeper you could have made that a TRIathlon!

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    1. Too bad you can't virtually clip them, I need a good virtual pet groomer!

      And yikes, I don't think triathloning is in my future as I am incredibly wimpy about getting wet, but good point!

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    2. You totally made me look at the nails! And you are right, how funny.

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  2. New dog, if she can get the computer to cooperate and play them, will maybe pull out some old workout DVDs. They are bound to be just familiar enough that i don't feel like an idiot and just unfamiliar enough to be challenging again.

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    1. Awesome example, you go New Dog!

      And hmm, if they could get dogs to lead exercise videos, how fun would THAT be?

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    2. They'd be great! Shot of dogs racing athletically up hills. Shot of dogs rolling and stretching and twisting (can you scratch your ear with your foot?) Dogs jumping three times their own height to catch frisbees. All you'd need is an inspirational voiceover.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    3. Hey, excellent idea, I think we got us a money-making scheme!

      Though it might be tempting to put 'em in a studio with some spandex outfits and run them through some choreographed exercise routines... Whoops, I think I hear PETA and the SPCA dialing as we speak.

      Delete
  3. Completely off topic, but I saw a book in the bookstore last week called "Working Out Sucks" and I immediately thought of you...only because I agree lol. Yet I still carry on...

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    1. Oh shoot, wish I'd written it!!!

      And good for you for hanging in there Dr. Mark!

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  4. Great!! I really like the whole concept, Crabby! I bike every few days, but I may try the mix of bike and run idea, that would be the dog's meow, or something like that :-)

    By the way, there have been several mud runs around the country recently! Not that I want to do them :-)

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    1. Mud runs sound like a fantastic idea.... for OTHER people. :)

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  5. This old dog does not run in sand anymore. But she walks in it and braves the waves (as long as the real dog is not in them). For some reason real dog likes to crap in the waves. Another terrific reason to go for the virtual dog.

    A book? How exciting! Terrific information wrapped in abtastic funniness!

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    1. Wow, dogs and their eating and excretory habits are endlessly fascinating. But, um, yeah, I don't think I'd be up for bodysurfing with yours, yikes. :)

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  6. at this very moment, old dog puja is curled up in bed with leg cramps because she listened to her silly head, telling her to kick some @ss in kickboxing-class! she remembers starting to run by doing 30 minutes at her first run ( same result plus near-death-experience!!!!) "new-pu" gives a sh!t about what anybody ( including her sometimes silly head!) says about how hard she should train. she takes little doggie-steps and drinks a lot of champagne once she sees results!

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    1. Champagne and puppy-steps sounds like an excellent plan. And ouch, hope those leg camps get better soon!

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  7. Just have to say, I always come away with a smile after reading one of your post!:) Thx for bringing some fun to the exercise world! Love the pics!

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  8. That photo is gorgeous! And yes, running/walking/whatever in unpacked sand is a sneaker.

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    1. Thanks QD! And a lot of the discomfort of sand running is actually psychological... all that effort and such little forward progress!

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  9. BEAUTIFUL PICS & an adorable virtual pet! :-)

    Like you, I have had to adjust not only physically but mentally. Yes, I work out hard BUT I know & understand that I am slower than I used to be in terms of how much I can do in the same amount of time. I also have changed up my cardio routine to match the again bod & keep it healthy as I age. I still run, HIIT, intervals but more hill walking & other stuff than I used to to keep these old joints happier.

    It is harder mentally for me BUT I know it is better long term.... :-)

    Hoka OneOne shoes!!!! Dr. J wears them now!!!! :-)

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    1. Well whatever your're doing it's sure working; you have the most awesome physique!

      And as soon as the Hoka PR fairies discover Cranky Fitness and offer up a pair, I am ready and willing to see if they are indeed as promising as they sound!

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    2. I have two pair of Hoke One One-s and adore them!! I got two pair because I had to get on a WAITING LIST when ordering for delivery to a local store and figured I would just alternate use for each "wrun" . (i.e. - walk/run)

      Besides being the cushiest ride ever - which is great if you have worn body part issues - they keep alot of debris out better than most shoes. Down side? $$$ :( :( And - they are kind of "warm". I don't know what they're putting into these shoes, but I choose to believe there's some magic pixie dust included.

      Delete
    3. Magic pixie dust? I could use some of that!

      Please, PR gods, bestow a pair of these magical shoes upon this crabby blogger!

      Delete
  10. this old dog will join and learn the new trick of lower sodium intake :-)

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    1. I'd be well advised to lower the sodium in my food bowl as well; new dog needs to revisit that old trick too!

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  11. Love the pics. I'm currently learning the trick of making sure I do several extra stretches in the day.

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    1. Excellent old trick, new dog. Or should I say new goat?

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  12. I have adorable pets but no Photoshop skills. :)

    I find every now and then I have to step back and start over. I will get into a routine that's working for me...until suddenly it stops working and I start skipping workouts. I usually realize that I'm bored with what I'm doing and I need to mix things up; that may very well mean going back to and old workout that I haven't done in a while. Usually takes a few tries to hit my stride again, get into a good routine...and then next thing you know I have to start all over again. What can I say? Short attention span. :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Love all your cat and garden photos; probably better off for the poor kitties not to get caught up in modeling careers anyway, who knows they could end up dating rock stars and that never ends well.

      And good for you for tossing new things and old things at the short attention span; so many people just give up when they get bored!

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  13. A book? You have a book coming out? And where, pray tell, does one go ton pre-order it? Tell us more, tell us more!

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    1. The Merry is back on the interwebs, hooray!

      And be assured I will boring you all TO DEATH about the dang ebook thing when it comes out in a few weeks; it's the first in a series and will be focus on exercise. Let's just say I should get a gold medal from environmentalists because there's so much recycling involved, but there's some new stuff too. The big selling point: it will be CHEAP.

      Thanks so much for asking!

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  14. For me, I'm constantly looking for new trails to run. Just sticking to the same old ones are boring so I guess I consider myself a new dog every day. I'll definitely try the lower sodium intake trick though! Great post.

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    1. thanks, um, Fat Burning Furnace Review.

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  15. Awww! Seashell is precious! I do graphic design. Email a pic to me and I'll see what I can come up with. toni@thegirlinyogapants.com

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    1. Hey thanks so much!!

      Will try to snag a cute one of a cooperative canine, really appreciate the offer!

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  16. Cute puppy dog! I'll buy one of everything!

    It seems I'm always back to old tricks. I try new things but realize they're really just old things repackaged.

    Love the pics of your adventure Crabby. But I think photos of you sprinting through water covered trail would have been awesome!:D

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    1. What, and get my feet wet???!!?!?! What do you think I am, some sort of fearless surfer chick? :)

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