Sunday, August 22, 2010

A New Hobby


In the week since Lake Stevens I have trained a total of two hours. It is hard to believe, but that is the utter truth. It has taken 7 days for the acute inflammation and pain to subside and I expect that next week I should be able to execute a light week of training. At this point, though, I do not anticipate racing again this year. The ribs are just not ready for the rigors of the 70.3 distance.

Removing training from the day frees up a lot of time. Even after completing procrastinated errands, work and plenty of naps (hey, napping is therapeutic and was aiding in recovery) there was still time left over. What do regular people do?

I decided this was a perfect time to learn a new skill. Frisbee. Diesel has copious amounts of energy that walking alone does not burn off. He is still too young to truly run, so Frisbee is the perfect antidote to his running in circles and chasing his tail.

What could be simpler than tossing a Frisbee? Apparently, everything. You see, I do not have a lot of throwing experience. The last time I made an attempt at throwing was in 2000. As an Olympian, I was asked to throw out the first pitch at an Orioles game. I was fearful of being that person that throws the wild pitch into the stands (in reality, there is no way I could have come close to reaching the stands). I practiced with a friend using a tennis ball. I couldn’t lift my arm for two days.

I figured Diesel and I would go to the park, I would toss the Frisbee with grace, and it would fly seamlessly in a straight line to exactly where I intended it to land.

It did not go nearly as planned. My first attempts at throwing the Frisbee resulted in the orange disc wavering wildly through the air and landing about five feet in front of me. Diesel was happy to chase it, but he did not bring it back. He just sat down where it landed and ate the grass. I coaxed him with treats to no avail.

This meant I had to walk over to where he was sitting to retrieve the Frisbee. I felt like I was playing Frisbee with myself. How embarrassing.

After many more throws, I am able to toss the Frisbee in a semi-straight line. However, even when I concentrate hard and am sure I am tossing it with perfect form and it is going to soar across the park in a perfect arc, it still leaves my hand like I have palsy. Sometimes it flies high in the air, sometimes it is barely above the ground, sometimes it lands in the weeds. I have no idea which type of toss it will be.

Diesel now loves the Frisbee and will chase down any of the spastic throws I send his way. Most of the time he trots back happily, drops the Frisbee at my feet and waits patiently for the next opportunity to find it. But, his expression does not hide his true feelings. Even though he is having fun, I know the whole time he is thinking, “Where is Mark? He throws it so much better.”

8 comments:

  1. Sweet. Even us washed up age grouper over 40er's can find great joy in the new of hobby of sports with the dog :) Glad to see the pro's joining in!

    Hope you heel up soon... in the meantime, enjoy your dog tremendously!

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  2. I know exactly how you (and Diesel) feel. Not long ago I tossed a Frisbee towards one of my kids and it rolled on the street for longer than it was in the air and it went straight into a storm drain. Of course it was too far into the drain to be retreived. So the same I day I bought another one, unwrapped it, and on my first throw it caught a gust of wind and landed on the roof of our house. Guh!

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  3. That sounds like a great way to kill some time!

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  4. Sounds like a great way to enjoy the summer days! My dogs never fetched...they chased the frisbee, stopped once they got it, and then chewed on it! :)

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  5. Hey Joanna,

    Point your right shoulder where you want the disc to go. Your hand is in a good location, on the waist/hip line, but cock your wrist when it is in that location. When you throw, move the disc through a level plane with your waist, keeping your wrist cocked until your arm is straight. Time the "snap" of the wrist to coincide with the straightening of your arm.

    Dude Note: The Dude played in the 1996 Southwest Regionals for Ultimate (Frisbee).

    Good Luck!

    The Dude

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  6. Why didn't we take him to Scott Carpenter pool when they opened it up to dogs???!!! I totally forgot about that. You could have taught him how to jump after it in the water.

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  7. Your blogs are always entertaining, but I am now reading each one in eager anticipation of comments from The Dude lol

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