A Unique Biathlon plus lots of crazy Saturday

by grace on May 18, 2021

Last Saturday, May 8th, it occurred to me that Kevin and I had taken part in what I decided was a biathlon that I’m sure nobody else on the planet did. We’ve created a new type of biathlon! It won’t be in time for the Olympics this year which is just as well because that’s just a superspreader Covid event waiting to happen.

First, Saturday morning we played in a competition in our online game “june’s journey.” I must have mentioned the game before; it’s a worldwide phenomenon and when we compete about twice a week we’re against teams from Russia, Italy, Sweden, France, Japan, most every place you could think of.

Mom, Amy and Jim are also on our team, plus some other people from Springfield and elsewhere. We didn’t do great Saturday morning, coming in ninth out of 15. Sometimes we do terribly but then I think the company puts us with weaker teams so then sometimes we do great. Just yesterday, as a matter of fact, we had a competition where we came in 3rd.

Anyway, that was our first biathlon stage.

The second stage was a black powder shooting competition that afternoon. Kevin started shooting old-fashioned type guns a while ago and competed in some competitions out in Virginia. One year Mollie and I went with him and were going to camp out in our pop-up camper but it rained and rained and we stayed in a very nice dog-friendly hotel instead. We all enjoyed that quite a bit.

So, years and year later, I decided about a month ago to try the black powder shooting. I used a gun that Kevin bought when he was 17, called a Kentucky Long rifle. You have to pour a measured amount of black gun powder into the barrel then put a small cloth patch which you’ve sprayed with lubricant on top of the opening, then you use a special round tool to pound the bullet into the opening. You then use your ramrod, a stick attached to the rifle that slides out so you can use it, to push the bullet all the way down into the bottom of the barrel.

I find it interesting to complete all these steps, and I keep being amazed and distressed thinking about all the poor soldiers in the Civil War who had to do all this stuff, except in the middle of battle, and people were shooting back at them. But Kevin tells me they were actually used in the Revolutionary War so they must have been quite effective back then since we won.

Anyway, this particular black powder competition used a weird kind of wooden target made up of Xs, and you had to try to hit the middle of each X. It involved first shooting at a triangle paper target and then going back to the target to move the paper target over the wooden one. I realized it doesn’t seem to make sense, but when we did it I kind of figured it out. Kevin made our wooden targets and here they are after the shoot.

I can’t remember which was which, but looking at them, surely the one on the right must be Kevin’s because they’s all closer to the middles.

We had participated in another black powder competition in April, my first-ever competition, only the second time I’d ever shot the black powder, and we aimed at round targets. In that event everybody brought a prize and then at the end we all picked a prize, starting with the first-place winner. I knew there would be nothing at all to interest me but I tied for second-to-last place and was happy to claim some kind of flashlight. At least I got a prize! Plus, how poor a shooter must that last-place guy have been?

So it was disappointing at the end of the shoot last Saturday. Kevin had thought it’d be the same kind of deal, and brought a big pack of steaks for our contribution to the prize pool, but instead we all had to show up with eight dollar bills and then the person who shot closest to the first X got money for that, and on and on.

But the thing is that some of these guys, and yes, I was the only woman participating, have been doing this for years and years and three of them won all the money. Kevin assured me that it wasn’t rigged even though the guy in charge of scoring plus counting out all the money ended up winning quite a bit of cash, and the guy’s brother and nephew won the rest. Hmm. When I told Bev about it she pointed out that since there were nine of us shooting and we each put in eight dollars, the total amount was only seventy two dollars. That Bev, she’s a math whiz. Plus it doesn’t seem like that much money, but it did when the guy was counting out all those bills.

In retrospect we didn’t do so great in either part of our Novel Biathlon, but then again, it was the very first year in which we participated, so maybe next time we’ll do better.

But the other thing is I don’t know when there’ll be a next time. I’d been having a little knee pain for a few months but I pretty much ignored it, continuing to run (a very slow jog), and walk and and bike ride sometimes and do lots of weights including squats and lunges with heavy weights.

But Mom and I walked at Lincoln Memorial Gardens on April 27th and I suddenly realized that I didn’t want to do anything else with that knee. I quit all forms of exercise except doing weights using my arms, and I thought my knee was doing OK. Because my brother-in-law Jim has had many sports injuries he advised me that i should completely rest.

I’m not good at completely resting, but like I said, no more lunges with weights or anything.

But right before our second biathlon stage that Saturday, I hopped down out of Kevin’s truck and walked about 10 feet…and my knee buckled. Uh oh. I felt something like a snap. Bad bad bad.

At this point I totally should have taken a pass on the biathlon second stage but instead I was able to continue to hobble around. It didn’t feel good, and we had to walk out to our targets, 25 yards away, about ten times. So yeah, a lot of walking.

I thought maybe it’d be OK but on the way home I couldn’t get comfortable.

Resting at that point would have been a great idea.

But then there was the poor scared German Shepard on the road by our house…

We saw it running down the road and got it into the car, and Mom was right there and volunteered to drive it to the Animal Emergency Clinic to see if it had a chip. We got the very sweet and very strong dog into the back of her car and I sat with her, petting her and telling her she was a good girl, while at the same time figuring out what to do. I called the APL and luckily they were open so we went there, instead. The nice woman on the phone had to ask her manager if the dog could stay there for the weekend if it didn’t have an owner and luckily again, the manager said yes.

Who knows how long the poor thing had been running around – she kept trying to lie her head on my foot, but then she’d sit up again and I’d pet her.

They told me to come into the building without the dog and somebody would come out and get her. I hobbled in and filled out some paperwork and then a nice guy came out and got the poor scared sweet dog.

Here’s a picture of her.

She had no chip, and I guess nobody was looking for her, so APL would take her to the pound on Monday. I posted that picture on a couple of lost pets sites on Facebook and many many animal lovers re-posted it, but I don’t know what happened to her. The APL manager came out of her office to assure me that the pound wouldn’t just put her to sleep, that she was such a good and sweet dog, plus a pure-bred german shepherd, that somebody would want her.

I hope so. Poor puppy.

So, that was my very exciting Biathlon plus bonus Dog Rescue element.

That Sunday we had grilled steak for Mother’s Day.

Monday I went to the walk-in Orthopedic Center where they did an x-ray and a guy examined me and said it was probably a torn meniscus. Oh boy.

That’s now a whole different deal and I won’t go on about that right now. It has been raining here so much that soon the water will probably rise up the hill to the house, which will be something.

ok then

Mrs. will probably be sitting around a whole lot for the near future Hughes.

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