Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Running as "One", confessions of a junky

I went to a  USDAA trial down in New Mexico this weekend with Tip and Tangle.  We were going down to pick up some more qualifications for Cynosport (Nationals).  Not sure if we will make the trek to Nationals, but always want the option for a good road trip (ok, maybe Tennessee isn't the ideal destination).

I was driving back to the motel after Friday's Team events telling my husband about the day.  He asked me how the day went, in which I replied it was "OK".  Just "OK", not awesome, not horrible.  Being the good "ASS" (Agility Support Spouse) that he is he asked me to go into detail about the day.  Why was it just "OK"?  Did you not get your Q's?  Did the dogs get hurt? Were they not wanting to run (I would know Tip is dead if she didn't want to run)?

Tip's team placed 1st in Team and Tangle's team got second (thanks to my awesome team mates).  Why then was the day just "OK"?  I should be thrilled with those results right?

We executed the runs well enough to place high. The courses were awesome, fast and technically difficult. Judge was funny. The club was friendly. What more could you want to feel great right?

I remember having these moments in music.  I would walk out on stage and start to performance.  Yes, I got through all the notes perfectly, but I didn't "feel" the performance.  We get the applause at the end, but you didn't feel that you earned them.

I realized what really THRILLS me about agility and what makes my day.  When I can walk away from the day knowing that we ran as a "team".   We, as a team, "felt" the run deeply and ran with that effortless, fluid motion.  That is a GREAT day for me. 

 When I have the kind of runs with my dogs where we run as "one", I walk away from a day of agility loving the sport.  This is not something that you can see on film and it isn't something you can describe.  It just "is"!  It is that fine dance that you have from the moment you hit the start line.  You look back and your dog is just waiting for that moment when you release him.  From the moment you release him it is like synchronized swimming.  You both execute your part of the run in tandem.  You don't "think" about the cues, there are no worries about off courses, there is just the feeling of fluidity of motion between you and your dog.  It leaves you in a state of pure joy regardless of the outcome.

The pure joy of being together

These runs don't have to be placements, nor do they have to be perfect, they just have to "be".  Although it is not her original idea, Daisy Peel wrote an article on the moment of "Unconsciously skilled". 

These runs don't come every trial for me, but when they do the "high" from the experience is enough to carry you through to the next perfect run.  I am a junky of the unconsciously skilled run!

PS, to give credit where credit is due.  Tip did have one of these runs on Sunday and Tangle on Saturday.   So, was the trial a success?  It was!