18 September 2012

A place called almost.

When I took the dogs to practice yesterday, I made up drills with important themes such as Anti Backside Drill, Tunnel Aversion, and No Bullshit About This Blind Cross Business. I made myself the hardest course I could make up there on the spot, and ran it a few times. I didn't write it down, but trust me. I made the gnarliest weave pole entry I could, some very fast running bits with terrifying tight turns waiting on a backside of something hard to reach. Running dogwalk to a front cross to get to THAT end of the tunnel. Tables. We all had a great time. We worked on speed and accuracy and being the best.

When we ran in class tonight, we were presented with some weave pole entries I hadn't even considered. A different kind of gnarly. I wrote them down, to try next time I practice. I can't explain them without drawing a picture and right now, I'm too tired to draw a picture. They were very hard. Gustavo had excellent listening. We were having excellent communication.

Agility life is good. I am serious about this agility business. I try to practice effectively and with intent.

Except the intent is for what?

Lots of my friends are hopping on planes to the Czech Republic and in their cars to drive to Denver over the next couple weeks. I know they are practicing hard and getting ready.

I'm not hopping on any planes this year. I sure did like flying Otterpop on a plane when I took her to the Nationals in Kentucky. Now I don't even know if there are any regular car trips to agility the rest of this year. Agility limbo.

I'm adrift without any goals.

I had some goals, but now I don't.

Otterpop earned her LAA-Bronze. Goal over. I just ran her in Gamblers and Standard this year. I guess she'll end up somewhere in the Top Ten, but I don't think she wants to go to any more shows this year. I can drag her out for Gamblers on occasional Sundays, and have a goal of getting every gamble, every time. But that feels a little bit, blah. Adrift.

Gustavo is hard to have goals with, because I don't like to put any expectations on to him. Especially when you look at his new squishy mouth with no teeth. He's running great, but a goal that involves an airplane trip to a big dog show isn't right for him. I don't even know what to do about showing him at all right now. He's happy now. I don't want to undo the happy.

I had a goal of getting a puppy. That goal is on a semi-permanent hold now. It's a long story why.

Agility without a goal, feels a little fuzzy. Running up and down but never to a finish line. A frumpy lady in mismatched sporty gear obsessing over little black dogs for no good reason. Not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Raised eyebrows and a little shrug. Huh.

Once again, my pretty good made it to the place called almost.


Anonymous said...

i think you have discovered the secret of life- doing something with intent for no good reason.
unless we start making value judgements, (and who are we to make value judgements, other than as personal preferences) one thing is as important as another, so what we do matters little. it's just that we must do something, and do it with all our hearts.

team small dog said...

Oh man. So here I am just running around and getting the dogs to jump over stuff, and then I go and discover the Secret of Life??

Rose said...

I have no world team aspirations or even nationals aspirations. I work with intent because that is who I am and it pleases me. I run mostly in NADAC when I trial, but I love working on international courses at home to see if I can meet the challenges that are presented.

I've also begun doing freestyle with two of my dogs. I don't know if anyone will ever see us perform, but the dogs and I enjoy the "work."

team small dog said...

I am totally buying you a cocktail for that most awesome comment, Meaty!

Jenn said...

Long stories and almosts, with agility limbo.

I recognize this as being parallel to where I am at. Maybe our goals will catch fire at the same time. Be nice to have some drive again, yes?

Meantime, we ride out the down time and wait.

Elf said...

I suspect this would touch a nerve with a lot of agility people. Like me. I think I have some goals but I'm not actually sure how much I care about them. Lately they seem unimportant. But I still want to do them. Kind of weird. You say it well.

BTW, where did "Meaty" come from? People are asking me, and I don't know why they think I would know.

Anonymous said...

yes, i'm sure a lot of us can relate. why is it like this with agility? why can't we go out there and just have a good time with our dogs, one run at a time?
i suspect it has something to do with the fact that there are so many folks around who are sooo quick to offer/impose their critique/advise/opinions of both the handler and the dog.
i did agility for ten years, and was never able to become comfortable with what felt like an all-pervasive grading system -- took the fun out of it for me.

team small dog said...

Ellen, Meaty is the new Mary.

Anonymous person, I don't think it has anything to do with outside criticism.

I like doing well.

I want to do well. I do pretty well. I have fun.

But I have been doing it long enough that it is more fun for me to have goals of moving to higher levels, and it is hard for me to move forward. I am stuck at mediocre. Mediocre is still fun. But I don't want to be mediocre.

Teresa said...

...sigh...can totally relate!!!
trained hard and hit most trials...leaving the real world in limbo for 6 (honestly 6+) months!!

For? our 1st Nationals..of course!!

Thought of Worlds but...this and that... love the courses and mostly train on them. But...travel..hype...stress...I miss the real world!

So crazy that I read this on my 1st normal feeling (pre-agility) weekend in a year - or so it feels like!! Kinda like it!!

Was in a real strange 'fuzzy' (thanks - it fits) space...the 'VOID' after a major event!!

What now???

Well - I had a list of put off 'until after' training and some serious 'new issue' solving to do....but.. without an 'obvious goal...ie title...podium..etc, it just didn't enthuse me.

Enter - decision to go back to basics and only do foundation!!! Well I am starting to get enthused!! Just researching basics!! (am new enough that I never got a good 'basic foundation') Of course, that leads to courses with particular challenges and lo and behold... I am back to the interested and focused and getting excited again!!! Yipee!!

I, too, have no desire to be mediocre - I want to do well at whatever I do!!

I love agility for so many reasons - so I will continue to do it!! I want to be good enough for Worlds but not sure if I want the life!

SO - I will keep getting better and when I get good enough to go to Worlds - then - I will re-evaluate how I feel.

Meanwhile I will train as if I plan to run in Worlds!!!

Thanks for the post. First time here and will definitley return!!