My first experience with sled dog sports started about 10 years ago as a spectator. My niece was was racing a three dog junior circuit. A couple of years later I skijored in my first recreational race and things grew from there. If you follow my posts at all you know that the “City Carlsons” (not to be confused with the “Country Carlsons”, my brother’s family) race experiences peaked with Pete competing in Alaska and the Yukon World Skijor Championships in 2005. Since then my daughters have been competing off and on, but bad snow conditions these past few years limited their opportunities. At this point we have a four dog kennel of experienced but aging sled dogs.
(Bear with me here, there is a spiritual fitness message coming)
The girls are busy with other school activities, Pete moved to Alaska, so that leaves 50 year old (yes, I just hit the big one) dad to carry on the tradition. This has been the best local “snow season” we have had in years. The dogs and I have been training for the past 5-6 weeks and we have our first race this weekend in Frazee, MN at the “Third Crossing Sled Dog Rendezvous“. Click HERE to see the race starting order, yup, that’s me, first out, with my older brother Tom next out. I’m looking forward to getting back into it.
This last year has been very interesting to say the least. You will be hearing many reflections this coming year about my first year of retirement. One of the things that I hoped would happened, but didn’t, was that I would get back in shape, lose a few pounds and make recreational exercise part of my life again. But these past several weeks have really rejuvenated me physically and spiritually. Spending time outside, training the dogs, grooming the trails, skiing, sledding, has been great for the body mind and soul. And the fellowship and socializing at the races does wonders for the soul too.
So here is your lesson, one that is not new, not complicated, but very hard to accomplish (I know). If you want to be fit, physically, intellectually or spiritually, you need to make exercise a way of life, not just a program that starts and stops. A lifestyle of healthy activity and exercise is the key to fitness. Don’t go on a diet, but develop a healthy diet of positive exercise and recreation.
I’ve got to get going, I’m meeting an old (but younger than me) coworker for lunch today. I’m looking forward to the fellowship and catching up.
I’ll update you on the race as the weekend evolves.