I was beginning to hurt all over from the workouts Melanie and Doug had me doing the last two days. Before I went home in September, Doug had told me he wanted me working out and getting in shape. He said, “If it is not hurting, you are not working.” Anything worth doing is worth doing well. He wanted perfection. He was beginning to sound like my father. I needed to push myself beyond my comfort zone, beyond what I thought I could do, beyond my limits, and keep going. He wanted to see some results.
Sunday, November 8, I would be heading home this afternoon, after doing my chores and running the dogs one last time. Yesterday, Doug had stopped the ATV several times to have me fix a problem or move a dog. While I was working with the dogs he would say, “Jim, the snow hook came lose” and start moving the dogs forward. I did not realize what he was doing the first time he did it, but soon caught on. He was trying to simulate a real life problem that I would encounter on the trail. What was I supposed to do? I was supposed to run as fast as I could and get back on the sled anyway I could before they left me in the middle of nowhere. When I got ready to go to the dog yard I expected that we would be doing that again. I was not disappointed. I would be going home bone weary tired.