a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Training or Not, Motivated or Not

Friday, January 24, 2014

Training or Not, Motivated or Not

SUMMARY: Musings after class night.

I find, on a day-to-day basis, that I am less than enthused about practicing agility, honing my skills, focusing on Boost's needs, doing the physical workouts that we need to do to be in optimal condition, and so on.

And then I get to class. And I am inspired by the lights and the colors and the enthusiasm and the thrills of doing the sometimes-challenging courses that come up, and I think:

Yes! I *DO* want to go home and:

  • Do WINDSPRINTS every day so that I'm running at times other than on class night and on competition weekends.
  • Work on SERPENTINE handling, all the little exercises that instructors have given us to improve, and doing them 100 times in all kinds of combinations, as advised, so that she and I both feel more comfortable with them.
  • LEARN how to do that dang k-turn...  I have the examples and exercises from class, need to practice by myself and with a dog.
  • RELEARN to do blind crosses--I did them instinctively when I first started classes in 1995, but they were trained out of me because you have to take your eye off your dog and that's a no-no.... but there are so many times when a front cross means a 270-degree turn (or more than 180 anyway), which is harder on my knees and back, especially considering that I'm really not that coordinated anyway.
  • FOCUS on Boost doing jumps without knocking bars.
  • REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT having Boost keep running on focusing on obstacles rather than on me.
And so on and so on.
And here it is, the following evening, and I'm thinking--it's cold, it's dark, it's been a heavy thinking day at work, I want to go to bed.

And so it goes. If only I could remember the feeling of wanting to do those things at times outside of class. Like back not too many years ago when I used to do a lot of practice with the dogs, full-bore, almost every day. 

Meanwhile, I think I'll check my emails and, probably, go to my nice warm bed again.


  1. I'm starting to learn some of the "new" moves too, k-turns,blind crosses.... at my last class, we were to do a blind cross and twice in a row the instructor said "you just did a front cross instead of a blind" -- I hadn't even realized it. D'oh! I guess blinds are just so very different from other stuff at first, can take a while to un-build the front cross muscle memory.

    1. Blind crosses are funny. When I first started, I did them instinctively on those hard-for-human turns, and it took a year or so to train it out of me. Sometime after I'd been competing maybe 2-3 years, a guy came over from England (Dave Blackthorn? How quickly I forget---) to do a seminar for us on the value of bliind crosses, and at the time it seemed very easy to pick them back up and everyone was doing them for a few months. Then we got Derrettt, stopped doing blinds, and never looked back (heh?). So now it has been I dunno 15 years of doing only front xs and, like you, even when I walk a practice course doing the blind, I have to walk it about 8 times to get it right, and then when I run it, poof, it changes into a front X! Good luck to you.