Wow, what a weekend. And the results on paper are only the half of it.
On Friday we drew number 23, which was eerily cool. We had a solid practice… no bars, no weave issues, no contact issues. Rev seemed great to me. Though we were both pretty worn out after six minutes (geez that’s a really long time out there!). I went to the Mall of America with a bunch of friends that night. It was a great time. I absolutely love having such great friends in the sport. Truly, not only is the tryouts crowd the best of the best in agility, but the sportsmanship is unlike any other big event I’ve been to over here. Good stuff.
I really struggled over my grandma going into the weekend. Last week I got to the point that I just flat out didn’t want to go anymore. It was more than that feeling of digging my heels into the ground, when I know that I *actually* want to go, deep down inside. I really really wanted to call it quits and stay home. It felt too hard. I didn’t want to try.
So I detached and just started going through the motions of travel. First step, get there. I figured that on some level I would feel different once we made it to Minnesota, and I was right.
I really liked the round 1 course… I felt calm going into the ring, I didn’t feel unsure of any of my handling plans. I felt alert and ready to play the game. I was excited! First run at tryouts for 2012, and the course was fantastic! They all were this weekend; I was beyond impressed, and very very excited. We had a stellar opening… up until the weave poles. Basically we got through the hard part — Rev was lovely — then she popped out of the end of the poles.
That was weird. Then she knocked a bar. Then she knocked another bar. I just felt myself get really sad. Rev doesn’t do that. One of those things might happen on a given day… mistakes, sometimes that’s just the way it goes. But three things? We ended up over time too, so 20 faults. I think that put us in 30th-ish place?
We left the ring with Rev happy as ever, as she should be. I couldn’t help it though… it slowly started to creep inside my head: I didn’t handle anything wrong. Is this a preview of our runs to come? I was at a complete loss. I simply didn’t know what to do. Already I had entered the weekend feeling terrified, but I had overcome that, I thought. Throw me a bone, someone, anyone up there? Are you listening? I did it, I did everything I was supposed to do. Didn’t I? Is that not how it works?
I don’t know how it works. But that doesn’t sound right to me, so no, that’s not how it works. And of course, even then, I knew that. I walked around with Rev a lot. I walked with my dad. I squeezed tight the moldavite stone necklace my grandmother gave me for Christmas last year.
Then I remembered what my mom said to me before: the weekend was going to be about revealing the mystery to myself, whatever the mystery ended up being (reader’s digest version; we had a very lengthy, inspiring discussion).
Okay, fine, whatever you say universe. Still, I was unsure of where to go from there. What was the next step to take? My dog, attend to my dog. A lot of stuff kept coming back to me… not at all fair to Rev. Karen kindly helped get Rev set up to be worked on. Rev has never been physically worked on before, and wonderfully, but much to my surprise, she was energetically adjusted as well. I watched, totally awestruck by her physical reaction to motions that appeared as though they should have no physical effect at all.
“Chakra” – she said the word chakra. Oh. That’s why, then. Only popping out of the weave poles, or only having one bar, I would’ve thought nothing of it. A mistake. Oops. But three things, and I was pushed to investigate further. And I know, I knew going into the weekend, that Rev was carrying a lot of the grief I felt for my grandma. It wasn’t just me who was hurting in my heart. She needed some healing, too.
In that moment I felt it all connect again. A piece to the puzzle I was slowly building last weekend; a clue to revealing my mystery: trust. I trusted myself, I trusted my dog, I trusted our training… but I did not trust our journey. Not in round 1. That is not why we gathered 20 faults, but that is why I felt so much anguish after our run. Trust. It happened exactly as it should.
Again though, I found myself asking, what now? Where do we go from here? So, as before, I looked to the next baby step. Course map. I needed a map. Check. I needed a plan. Check. Walk the course. Check. One step at a time. Check. And that is how we moved through the rest of the weekend. One course at a time, I kept repeating, all weekend. Never to get ahead of myself. And this, this is great:
Round 2. Well I shouldn’t have gone in the gap on the first tunnel ;), and I was a little crunchy in a few other places too, but we got it done and managed to walk away with first place. I felt good going into the ring, I trusted each run would be exactly what it needed to be, and both Rev and I gave it our all. For the first time, I think, in my life, I felt the balance between trusting the universe and still understanding that my efforts counted. I struggle to put that into words, out loud or written down. Working with the universe, if you will. I’ve never tried to work against it, but perhaps in the past I have tried to work away from it, or diagonal to it.
Round 3. I was tired. My brain slipped; I thought of the remaining three rounds, what we would have to do in order to win our spot onto the world team. I didn’t want to cross fingers for a phone call… I wanted to earn it right there, at that event. But it looked really hard and scary from where I was standing.
Reset. One run at a time. All that mattered was round 3, running it to the best of our ability, and enjoying it. Deep breaths, and we did it. Managed to earn first place again, and this time it felt like first place, too.
What a Saturday. 30th (I think), to 12th, to 6th.
Per some wise advice, we walked a lot that night, after dinner, just Rev and I.
Just this very special moment
Round 4. Quite nervous, again. I felt much better after obstacle #3 for some reason. Lovely, except perhaps the crunchy threadle. ;) Still, ooooh the burn when Terry and Presto smoked us with their gorgeous run. ;) I proudly held our second place ribbon next to them. :)
So we did it, just as at nationals, we managed to get ourselves exactly where we wanted to be… first seed at the end of the day on Sunday. But this time, we finished.
Round 5. I wanted to do the opening differently, so badly;), but I knew, I knew I knew I knew, the two wraps on the first two jumps would mean zero issues for us. Then from #3, the tunnel, all the way to the teeter, my mantra stuck with me. But when I got to that teeter, ooooh it hit. We were 3-1/2 obstacles away from making the world team!
And we did it. We made the team. I grabbed Rev and smiled into her neck.
Hey dog, we did it again. Wow. Wow wow wow. Many new discoveries over the weekend, many very supportive people, a few new friendships that I hope to have for a long, long time. I am very grateful for so many souls that were there for me this weekend, several in ways that they may not even realize.
Much has gone on, and there are many things to catch up on. But I think for now I will be done writing. I was torn again, like last year, on whether or not to make a video to music. For some reason tryouts just seems to work well with raw footage. :)