Tuesday, May 5, 2009
World Team Try Outs 2009
Well, I made it back from the world team tryouts with no major incidents. I did lock the keys in the trunk of the car right before Alicia needed to get to the runs on the first day, but I found the button to pop open the trunk, so not a major disaster in the end, but that gave us a few hairy moments, I left my purse on a bench at LAX when we were catching the shuttle back, but the shuttle drive wove in and out of traffic and got us back to the bench just a few minutes later and my purse was sitting there all intact, big crisis averted. Alicia's last run was the last group of the day on Sunday, they were estimated to be done at 4:30 and the plane was supposed to take off at 4:50-so we sweated that a bit all weekend, but the runs were running a bit ahead of schedule and we were able to just barely make the plane. AND NO swine flu, LOL, so like I said everything basically went pretty well.
I HAD A GREAT TIME!!!! The world team courses were insane and had a LOT of challenging areas on most every course. One of the really interesting things is that in the world competitions and in the tryouts there are separate courses for every jump height. So you would see the large dogs and the large dog courses, and then the medium dogs would be up, they would rebuild the course and it really did not have anything to do with the large dog course, a totally different course made for their stride length and the challenges you would have with a dog of that size, and then the small dog courses were really tight for the little guys.
It was so neat to watch all these great handlers/dogs in one place. I picked out small elements to really watch in each of the runs to see how people used different handling methods to handle different things, like lead outs, or the treadles, or the serpentines, or places that needed decelerations, or there were a lot of places where people would really need to use a lot of deceleration and close handling and really working on area where they would have to stay there and just finish handling a sequence, but then they would really have to haul because they would have to get to the end of an dog walk right after a really tight sequence. I really admire all the people that made it there to compete.
Most of all I really am grateful to have such a great instructor that has really taught me so many things. I know 18 months ago I would not have understood dog agility like I do now, there is so much more to understand but I can not believe how much she has taught me, and I know I am beginning to get it, not just how to run around a course but there is so much more to know. I love to watch Alicia run with her dog Pickle who only has one eye but is able to compete with dogs on that level - when was the last time anyone saw a one eyed dog trying to get on the world team? I feel really lucky Alicia asked me to go with her, and I am so glad I went.
What a cool sport agility is, the people that make the how to videos, the people that write articles on how to do things, the people that we go to seminars to learn things from all compete in the same places we do and so they are all people that we can meet and ask questions of and get to know them. Say if we all took up acting, we could not just go out and meet all the big stars, sit on the set and watch how they handle the mental game or ask them how they pulled off that great scene. I got to meet some very nice people this weekend, and as a big bonus I got to spend time with some very nice people that actually live in this area so that was super fun.