Thursday, November 29, 2012

Grand Mesa Outtakes

Ok, the truth... Max & Zorro do have "brotherly tiffs" - don't all siblings? The outtakes from Monday, our third day of skijoring last weekend at Grand Mesa:
The beginning of an inappropriate discussion on the trail.
I thought I caught it and corrected the incident through motivational speaking. I thought.....
Skijoring defined:
  1. 98% Siberian assisted cross country skiing - fun, fast & far!
  2. 2% motivational speaker, peace negotiator and referee!
The outtakes typically come in 4 types of increasing escalation:
  • I notice one or both of Max & Zorro starting an "inappropriate conversation" on the trail. Usually a couple shouts of "hey!" followed by either a "Zorro forward" or "Max forward" or "Max, Zorro forward" (depending on who is starting the conversation or if it is both ways) and everyone gets back in line and the skijoring continues. Successful episode of a Motivational Speaker.
  • The prior tactic does not work and the "inappropriate conversation" continues or slightly escalates. In this case, a "wait" command as I snowplow into a forced stop and then I use the command "Max, Zorro focus!" Focus almost always works as it is their command to turn around and lock eyes on me (and most often a treat will follow if you focus properly). The focus typically erases the original conversation and we exchange happy talk before starting up again. Another successful episode of a Motivational Speaker.
  • "Focus" fails (gasp, yes, it has a few times :-) ... Ok, plant my butt on the ground and commence a Team Organization Meeting to discuss the semantics of skijoring and safety risks of chipping at each other on the trail. No chance to resume skijoring fun with the human planted on the ground! After discussing skijoring in the Team Organization Meeting, we will finish with happy talk and pets as a threesome - everyone must make one happy gesture to the other two! Successful episode of a Peace Negotiator.
  • On rare occasions, the conversation & antics escalate quicker than I can employ tactic number 2 ("wait" and "focus"). In this case the Siberian ears are closed to motivational speaking or peace negotiation and it is an all out sibling rivalry. The rivalry typically escalates into a Siberian posture & wrestle match and I quickly (while on skis) need to transform myself into a referee and dive into the foray to separate everyone in order to start a very serious Team Organization Meeting. A rare and unfortunate episode as Referee.
Well, back to Monday... As the photo above shows, an "inappropriate conversation" broke out on the trail. As you can see, this was a two-way conversation. I swear I caught it soon enough with a quick "HEY!" followed by "Max, Zorro Forward!" with an immediate "Good Forward! Good Forward Max, Good Forward Zorro!" once they corrected. We seemed to be moving just fine again and I was happily reflecting on another successful episode of motivational speaking. Foolish human, here is what transpired minutes later...
1) A slight fishtail from Zorro, a slight fishtail from Max.
2) Calls from the musher to "correct & forward!"
3) "What musher?" as they lock eyes and take the conversation to another level.
4) BOOM! A full-blown Siberian wrestling tumbleweed breaks out on the trail!
[watch on youtube if problems below]

Now, don't be panicked, this extreme escalated "wrestling tumbleweed" rarely happens! Typically only 1 to 3 times in an entire season. But it is a doozy when it does happen! Thank Dog the motivational speaking and peace negotiation tactics almost always work and the referee rarely has to come out.

And, all is ok, here we are in PERFECT form less than 30 minutes later - we had a serious Team Organization Meeting after the wrestling tumbleweed event and then I took the team on an uphill section of trail to get everyone back under control and concentrating on skijoring. Once everyone was back in sync, I uncorked everyone into a fast sprint up a slight incline and into a perfect left turn - ah, the 98% is soooo fun!
Cutting loose into a fast gallop up a slight incline and
into a perfect left at the fork in the trail!
[watch on youtube if problems below]

Oh, those silly Siberians and their outtakes... :-)

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