Weeknote: green light on ballet and canicross

This last week vanished in a blink of an eye. Canicross, back to ballet and on the tippy toe shoes, Pippin shenanigans, and more!

Weeknote: green light on ballet and canicross
New pointe shoes! New pointe shoes!

Last week vanished in the blink of an eye. Friday morning, I was leafing through my bujo and my ever-growing list of weekly tasks with, err, a bit of anxiety. Though every February day is a little longer than the previous one, the weeks still feel much too short for everything that has to get done.

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Let's rewind: last Monday, during our nightly walkies through a green ruelle in my neighbourhood, Pippin brought me his second dead blackbird corpse — this too-mild weather is melting all the snow far ahead of schedule, and revealing all sorts of fun underneath. The timing, at least, wasn't too horrible: Tuesday morning Leif and I had actually planned on bringing Pippin yet again[1] to the vet, to get him an anti-parasitic because of his propensity to bring me back all the most gnarly-looking dead birds. Oh Pippin!

The vet visit on Tuesday also gave me the opportunity to ask the most important question: when will Pippin be ready to get introduced to a few different dog sports? I have my eye on canicross in particular right now, and I'm also talking about a very gentle and gradual introduction. Pippin is the kind of dog who does everything with maximum intensity: if I let him, he would try to follow me everywhere far beyond his physical capabilities. The risk of injuring his still-maturing articulations is not negligible. After a quick check-up, the vet gave us the green light on a very reasonable introduction to canicross — more accurately, he'll be trotting by my side while I power walk/jog. (My physiotherapist will be happy I'm not putting my knee through the ringer just yet.)

Very thankfully, the equipment for canicross and skijoring is the same — which is good because as it turns out, durable canine sport equipment is just as expensive as durable human sport equipment. 😭 I had an open morning on Thursday, so I dressed Pip and I up in our new kit, and we went out for three quarters of an hour. Of that time, I think we probably "ran" together for maybe 10 minutes. Most of the time, Pippin was having fun rolling around on the icy snow, chasing interesting smells, trying to convince me to give him a cookie, etc. When I had his attention, I did try to start introducing him to the mushing[2] part of things, but it wasn't my focus during our outing. Mostly, I wanted Pippin to get situated in his new equipment and build positive associations. It worked!

A selfie after our first outing in the canicross harness and gear. Pippin spent most of our outing sniffing and playing in the snow, which is great.

Speaking of sports, I think I'm finally back on a ...reasonable... ballet schedule. After taking so much time off, it's always a bit of a shock to reactivate all those dormant ballet muscles, especially in the feet and calves. I finally scrambled to sew my Grishko Smartpointe 7,5 XXX SS (I also wear S if forced) which got here from Toronto before a long class on Wednesday, and was really happy to finally make it all the way through a full two hours and a half ballet class.

Saturday was another important ballet day, because it was the day of the jump and pirouette intensive at Ballet Hop!, taught by Madeleine Bellefeuille. I ended up spending more than four hours working in the studio on several skills that are often misleadingly considered "basic" in ballet, from pliés to retirés to tendus to entrechats trois/quatre to assemblés to jetés to pirouettes and more. They are basic in the sense that they are the foundations to all jumps and turns in ballet. I love jumping, even on my bad knee, so I was frantically scribbling all sorts of notes later that night after the intensive, desperately trying to remember all the interesting comments and lessons. I love being able to go through the "simple" things in excruciating details — with Zoé-Claude[3], my private instructor, that's often what we did in 2022 and 2023, and I find it often really helps solidify my own dancing like nothing else.

In other spare moments this week, I actually sat down and did some blog maintenance. I updated my blogroll (list of blogs that I check every week), I made a guestbook page in a fit of 00s nostalgia (still have to figure out a real easy way of decorating that page, though) and I finally, finally, finally threw together my blog archives: on one page, a list of all the blog posts I've ever published, in reverse-chronological order, all the way back to 2012 (err, yikes). So many blog posts from 2009-2014 were lost when I migrated from Wordpress to Ghost back in the day — not for technical reasons, however, in fact I was just so embarrassed by all of them, I ended up deleting almost all my posts. I'm still sometimes embarrassed by my own blog posts from 2015, 2016, 2017, but I'm trying to summon all the compassion possible not to delete any of them...

Apart from all that, my biology class ... is going, I'm still working on a force-free Remote Stop online course by Jo Laurens, and as of late Sunday night, I finished my ICAF certification with the FEDECP. In March, Pippin, Leif, and myself are planning a very first visit (with any luck, on our skis, cross your fingers and toes for some good snow) to a hunting club, so I really need to get my hunting certification and firearms permit sorted. I've got some seriously busy weeks ahead this February and March, but I think it will all be worth it, and I'm still somehow feeling motivated!

  1. The first prize that Pippin is going to win is the prize of the puppy who went to the vet the most often before he turned 7 months old last Wednesday! ↩︎

  2. There are lots of great guides out there on getting started in canicross, I like this one for now: https://www.nonstopdogwear.com/en/magazine/how-to-start-canicross/
    Update 2024/02/17: I'm compiling ressources on how to get started on canicross here. ↩︎

  3. Some photos on my Instagram. ↩︎

The Flouffe found some great sunbeams this week!

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