This week’s title is much easier on my Google search terms. Which is a good thing, because the challenge itself wasn’t so easy on my body.
It sounds simple, though, doesn’t it? The idea this round was to incorporate fitness with your dog into your daily routine. This is something I am used to doing all the time. With the super speed lives we all lead these days, sometimes this is the only way to get in any fun. Most of our training with Shiva is done in short bursts on the fly, like shaping a new trick while I wait for my flat-iron to heat up, or throwing a ball for her while I type out a blog post.
Unfortunately, I made the mistake of jokingly complaining in a comment on Kol’s Notes that the challenge wasn’t clear enough, that I didn’t want to come up with my own plan. Some free advice? Don’t ever do that. Evil Camp Leader Koly had no problem coming up with some ideas for me, none of them very pleasant. Here is the challenge he issued:
“1 – 2 minute each of disc, tug of war, running up those treacherous looking stairs, tag, monkey in the middle then…for you…. sit ups, push ups, mountain climbers, burpees andddddd some of those planks with the cat”
Nice. Since I don’t want to be a wimp, I couldn’t back out. I figured, how hard could it be? I used to take stick warrior classes. Well, okay I took exactly three classes. In university. Over ten years ago. But still! If I lived through those, I can do anything!
Of course, this was all before I even knew what a “plank” was. Do you know? If so, you are probably laughing at my bravado already. If not, brace yourself. Here is the description I found:
- Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor.
- Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows.
- Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels.
- Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air or sagging in the middle.
- Hold for 20 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for 3-5 reps.
It is supposed to look something like this:
Yeah. There are no photos of me doing this exercise.
Not that it was hard. Not at all! I just don’t want to show off and make anyone feel bad.
After all that brilliant fun, Shiva and I braved the low temperatures and took it outside. I found a way to make the stairs less exhausting for me and more enjoyable for her. Instead of just running up and down them together, I tried racing her to the top – giving myself a head start of course. I put her in a sit-stay on the bottom and then took off, only releasing her from her stay when there was a few steps left for me to climb. She still almost beat me every single time but she seemed to like the idea of a chase and I had a blast attempting to compete with her.
After that we took it to the playground. For whatever reason, we haven’t played around on the equipment for a long time. I couldn’t help but giggle out loud as Shiva chased me around the slide and up and over the stairs. As playgrounds are designed for human children, Shiva isn’t capable of some of the games available, like the monkey bars, but there are many ways they can be adapted for dogs. Even just ducking underneath the wooden planks (ugh… planks… evil…) and having quick rounds of hide and go seek with a dog can be a great time.
Once all this was done, I didn’t have much energy left for the cat. I worked on getting him to go up the stairs with me a little and tried more of those p-things while rewarding him for doing absolutely nothing. Then I just pulled out the laser pointer and called the challenge complete.
Most of my time with the cat is spent in very short bursts as he tolerates my antics for only so long. I try to always end on a high note and leave him wanting more. Basically, when it comes to working with a cat, you have to train when he wants to train, and not when you do. If that is three in the morning, then you take what you can get. It may not seem like you are making a lot of progress but the limited success I have had with the feline one proves that even just a few minutes a day can make a huge difference.
It really is true that to win it sometimes all you need is one minute.