Experiences of a late-comer to the agility competition scene -- our training, trials, life-style changes/challenges, RV adventures, and observations on the sport, the people, and dogs involved in it. Begun July 17, 2010.
I've never been to a cross-country race, so my mind was reeling with excitement last Saturday morning while attending my grandson's cross country races at Highland Park. Nathan, Allison and I met up there. Hundreds of high schoolers from neighboring parishes were bussed in to compete in 2 mile and 3 mile races from about 9-11 a.m. 15 to 20 schools had canopies set up across the landscape. The crowds of spectators were enormous, I'm guessing 1,000. Parking spaces were scarce and a long ways away. The weather was bright, beautiful, and cool on the 1st day of October. Thank goodness for that, because the terrain was hilly for the runners and not much shade.
I took lots of videos but there was so much to take in, I only got a moment's footage of my own grandkid at the end, which you'll see in the composite video below. But that turned out not to be my only subject. I found the whole event fascinating, especially gratifying to see so many kids participating, not as in days of old when only a select few made the varsity team and the rest of us sat on the sidelines. "We've come a long way, baby", in recognizing the value of participation and inclusion.
I also got the proof I needed that real runners do get airborn, they land heel first, and their back feet kick up behind them! I've been asking for a Running Coach (see previous post). This helped.
Here's a composite of snippets from all the footage I took at various stages of various races, including the start, middle and nearing the end of Jonathan's race:
I have simply GOT to get a faster computer, a better video camera, and better video editing software! It took me a whole day to make this 4 minute video! And COX had better get their act together, too. Their broadband delivery system is woefully inadequate and I'm going to dump them the minute I find a better alternative.
Jonathan nearing the finish line.
I include one still shot from the video, for those of you still on dial-up who can't play the videos I post. Just letting you know (Mom and Dad), you are really cramping my style!
I heard Jonathan came in 27th, a very respectable finish, but anyone that finished has my respect. Nothing like being shown up by a herd (or is it hoard) of teenagers.
Nathan, Maxie, Willow
Of course I brought Maxie and Willow, and they were, as always, a conversation piece. I heard people exclaim "look, twins", "how cute", and "can I pet your chihuahuas". Very few recognize the Papillon breed, and nobody I told about Maxie's and my sport had heard of dog agility! We've got a ways to go to get our message out about agility. I'm proud that anybody, even the physically challenged, can participate in my sport. I'm proud that I, at last, can say . . . . . "I have a sport!"
Another thing I'm proud of is Willow, who used to huff, pant, grunt and become overheated just walking around the block when we first got her, did perfectly fine walking around for 2 hours in all the excitement. Down from 16 pounds to 8.5 in the past 2 years, I take this as a solid sign that her heart is truly healthy again. This is most gratifying, especially as she is indispensible as Maxie's crate mate at trials. Gotta have her!