January 3, 2013

Another Fresh New Year Is Here! & Happy Anniversary!!

Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!
- William Arthur Ward

And Play at AGILITY!!

Welcome all to 2013 may your year be filled with fun, family, love, and many Q's! 

I apologize for things being so very quiet around here this Fall. The earth continues to spin and the light of a new day dawns whether you are ready for it or not. 

Where to start....  Happy Anniversary to the BLOG ;-)   A year ago I jumped in with the masses and started sending my thoughts and photographic journey out into the electronic abyss.  At the time, I would have been surprised if 100 people had tripped over this site. Really, what do I have to say or add to the collective thought that others would bother to read. And really it was not my intention to have this blog read by others. Just a way to journal, think out loud, problem solve, and just maybe connect with some others that would lend their thoughts and ideas. As of this writing this site has had 3247 page views! To me, that is so very amazing! Along with visitors from all over the world! Simply jaw dropping to this small person in my little space of life. Thank you to all that have stopped to share in my life and experiences. Your visit is so very appreciated and enjoyed by me. Now if I could just get you all to talk with me by commenting lol. I would really like to hear/read what your thoughts are! 

Anyway.... This time last year I refused to make any resolutions. I just listed my hopes and plans for the coming year. In review I am proud to say I have managed to accomplish a few of my plans.

Weight: I managed to get very close to my goal weight this year. I spent the spring and fall very happy with my body and myself. I once again felt like I looked good (healthy, fit, with day light between my legs, and a lot less jiggling when I run). I managed to run all summer at least 4 days a week and made Surf go with me for endurance training for him. I listened to my body and ate what I was supposed to. I won a kayak race and my first triathlon, partnered with my husband. HOLY SMOKES we won our division in our very first triathlon!!!!!! (40-49 year old team kayak and there was more than 6 teams in the division!!) Amazing, simply amazing!!!
 getting ready to run 5k with support team!
end of 2 mile paddle
best partner ever! he biked 5 miles for me

Agility: Finding joy and speed with Surf. Wow Wow Wow.
This summer was really his summer. My shy and worried little butterfly really came into himself this year. He took over in the house as alpha male (although Rocket still doesn't agree) and that seemed to really boost his confidence significantly. We changed trainers and although I don't think he cared either way who was standing in the middle of the ring yelling at us, it has made a big difference in me and we really came together as a team this summer. There were more and more moments during practices that I felt like I was running a big dog/border collie. That speed and feeling carried over to the Fall outdoor showing season but has dimmed with our winter indoor season. Indoor shows are not his favorite but in comparing the videos from last winter at the indoor he has continued to improve with his focus and drive while indoors. 
so very happy outside! my ears are even flying!

We started off last year just getting into Ex A in STD & JWW and in Open FAST. By June we were in EX B and Ex A FAST. We finished the year one Q shy of our MXJ and half way to our MX (5). We managed 4 double Q's in the Fall (sept/oct) but we seemed to have trouble getting our rhythm and staying connected when we went indoors. He was also much faster in the Fall than he has ended the year. 

Photography: Well this one didn't make it that far. I DID pick up the camera more often. I DID use my iphone to take more pictures. I DID start posting to instagram and I did try out the editing software a few times. Oh and I did use you tube quite a bit this year. I just didn't work with the camera the way that I was hoping to. I really wanted to get more creative and really start to push forward from just taking what I see. I used to have such a different eye and feel to my pictures before kids. Now it feels as if they are all just "I was here" pictures. I think I want to get a different lens and I need to stop being lazy and get off auto settings.

Hopes: I didn't try USDAA yet but entered one in Feb. Hubby is being very supportive, especially since his daughter in now also running a dog :-)) and I feel that I have continued to grow and learn as a trainer/handler. This year I worked on my ability to analyze a course and I feel I have improved significantly since last year, thanks to Jeri Prekop!! I was a little worried to see the new AKC requirements for Nationals for 2014 but my friend was right if I look at our Q's for the past year it CAN be done. All I can do is work on my performance goals and the rest will come. Loved spending time and working with Tori Self again this year and can't wait to do it again! She is so much fun with such light and joy in her soul that comes right out that smile of hers. 

FOR 2013: This years performance goal is for me. I need to let go....It is better. I am inching my way forward in this perpetual goal. I run a course with Surf in practice with...(hmmm the right adjectives escape me) that confidence that comes with knowing you get to try the hard parts again. I feel confident, not aggressive exactly but I want to hit the ground really running and pushing. I am willing to trust his training in practice. I am willing to go out side our comfort zone, in practice. Not so much when a Q is on the line. I am starting to believe that this is what is holding us back. I know he can be a fast and brilliant dog. I have seen it, in practice. But his handler is to unsure, short on confidence, holding back, being safe, needing the perfection and trading it for speed. All for the Q. Needing the Q too much. Way too much.

So this years plan: I am working on that mental game. Music. Music might be the key I am looking for. Music/lyrics can really move me, inspire me, and help me focus. So not to be rude or anything but I plan on walking courses this year with head phones on. Trying not to tune others out but find that fire down deep and stoke it until I can't hear the negative comments in my head and I throw us into wild abandon. I'm also playing around with taking a Daisy Peel class online. I really like her handling style and I wonder if the mental management would help but I don't think it covers self confidence :-)

So last year was a year of learning.  This year I declare is the year to be


(of a person, action, or idea) Showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous

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