Thursday, June 02, 2011
WAO 2011 part 1
My post about the WAO is very late. I wish I could be better about documenting our journey immediately after the event. Unfortunately it seems that I need downtime after a big competition before putting my thoughts into writing. I always have mixed feelings; never sure if I am happy or sad that it is over and never sure if I am thrilled or disappointed about our performances!
So I wait before I look at videos and by that time I have lost the impetus to put together a detailed post. I am thinking that for the European Open I would like to try and put together my posts on the day but that might just be a little ambitious. Dennis isn't even coming and so photos and videos might be sporadic as it is!
The World Agility Open Championships (WAO) 2011 was a fantastic event. The time and effort put into every detail was obvious to us all. As with the IFCS last year, there was a great atmosphere and awesome (yes AWESOME) volunteers working very hard every day. The courses were fun and challenging and I enjoyed them all.Zen and Zaz were great fun to run as always. Zen placed in the top 3 in almost every class.
The only thing that prevented us getting onto the podium in the pentathlon was my ridiculous errors. I am not even talking about handling errors as I could forgive myself for those (and often do!). The errors that happened to me that weekend were ones that I have nightmares about: I forgot the courses! I guess my two worse nightmares going into any big competition are forgetting the course and falling down. Well now I have gotten one of those over with and I hope never to repeat it!
Looking back I now understand why I forgot the courses but that doesn't stop me from feeling like an idiot and worrying that this may become a problem. A problem both in reality and a problem in my mental attitude. I read enough about Positive Mental Imaging to know that I almost should not even be writing this paragraph! Yet I do think it helps me and others reading this post to put my fears in writing and then get some help in getting over it! And maybe it will help others who have similar problems.
Do I have an answer to this problem? No not really but I will keep working on it and I will not let it get me down. How can I forget that my dogs have no idea when it goes wrong; they give me their all on every run and I am so grateful to have them by my side.
I thought I would start by showing you my two worst runs of the weekend; the run where I get lost and have to stop on course and the run where I sent my dog over the wrong jump when I forgot the course. My thought is that I need to watch them and then let them go forever.
This was our first run at the WAO. I was really positive about this course; I loved it and was looking forward to running it. What I did not count on was forgetting the course. In hindsight I understand why this happened but that doesn't help after the fact!
The great part about the WAO is that we get ALOT of runs. The worst part of the WAO is that we have to walk ALOT of courses. This is fine at the normal weekend show especially as we do not get complicated courses at our normal everyday show. In addition you may have the luxury of watching many dogs run before you go into the ring. At the WAO we walked 3 difficult courses in a 1/2 hour period and then immediately ran the 1st course we walked. So after walking the 3rd course I needed to get my dog and go run the 1st course without being able to watch. I was not ready for this mentally as it did not occur to me that this would happen. This was a failing on my part in my preparation both mentally and physically. Hopefully if we get a chance to do the WAO again I will not let this happen again.
I was really down after this run. It was our 2nd pentathlon run of the day and again it was the 1st run in the afternoon after a rotation of walking 3 courses. Can you see the common thread? I had gotten lost on the first run of the morning as well. What was wrong with me? I felt as if I was too old for this sport. Not only is my body falling apart and I am having difficulty running but now my brain is gone! I don't think I have ever felt this low about agility.
I am the first person to say "It is just agility" and I do not get upset about those little things that happen in the ring. Yet I do agility because I love it; I love working with my dogs and figuring out challenges. So when reality hits and I start doubting that I will be able to continue....that does make me sad. Thank you to those who understand that; who commiserate as well as trying to help me get over it.
So no more talk about getting lost on course. I do need to work on running more complicated courses on a regular basis. Zaz and I have alot of work to do over the next few weeks before the Dania cup and the European Open. I am glad to have a game plan in my head; now I just need to implement it!
More about WAO 2011 later!