Finding my voice

I haven’t been writing a blog for the last several months because I haven’t been able to figure out how to put my thoughts into words….I give a lot of credit to those of you who find your words so easily!

Competing for The CKC Agility Team Canada at the European Open with my dog Cash was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I will never forget that first run – sitting him at the start line, leading out in that arena….it was truly like time stood still for me.  It was just me, and Cash, and the thought that ‘this was it’. This was the moment I have been working towards, and I was blown away by how lucky I was to be sharing it with such an incredible dog.

Teamcanada

It is funny to me, the question I got asked most when I returned was “how did you place?” and “Did you win?” – mostly from people not involved in agility of course…because those that do know the sport know how competitive it is, and that just being there is an accomplishment in of itself.  I responded to those people that I was happy with how I did, that no we didn’t win…and I told them that I really hope to be lucky enough to go back and try again!

It was so inspiring just being there and able to see run after run of incredible teams, giving it everything they have to win.  I remember while watching finals one of the handlers had given so much of herself that she went down as she crossed the finish line just like you sometimes see Olympic athletes do at the end of a race.  Did she win? I don’t think she made the podium, maybe she did…maybe she didn’t – I can’t be sure. But what I realized in that moment is that it really isn’t the results that matter.  Sure, we all want to win…to do agility at high levels in this sport I think requires a pretty competitive personality but at the end of the day what truly matters is trying your very best, running like you really mean it, and leaving it all out there in that arena.

I know that Cash and I have a lot of homework to do in order to even have a chance at a podium finish, but I also know that if it never happens, I am going to enjoy every second of the journey, and never forget how I felt in that moment.

~ Karen

In the beginning…

Sitting here in my living room binging on German beer, and Mad Men I find myself reflecting on what has brought me to this moment. I am less than 24 hours away from getting on a plane with my handsome boy in order to represent Team Canada at the FCI European Open. Since finding out I made the team I have gone through an enormous range of emotions, from screaming with joy at the top of my lungs to sobbing with my head in my lap.  Sometimes I STILL think that I am dreaming. The one thing I know for sure? I really do want this.

I have been battling the inner voice that says we can’t, the one that argues we aren’t ready – and I think I have finally shut it down. Maybe we aren’t ready, maybe we will be eliminated from every single run over there… but I have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter. With the help our coach, and some very good friends I have realized that this is the beginning of my journey, and these are my 10,000 hours. I am so blessed to have this wonderful dog, and I know that we have to start somewhere. I am beyond ecstatic that *somewhere* is on such an exciting stage, at a wonderful venue, with some amazing competitors and in the company of friends.

Today, in this moment, I am proud of how far this wonderful dog and I have come – and truly excited about the future. Thank you to everyone who has helped us along our way, and believed that we can. And thank you Julie for trusting me with this handsome boy.

Could he be any cuter?

Could he be any cuter?

~ Karen

Trying Out, Journeying Forward & Daring to Dream

Cash & I have been on quite a journey the last few weeks – and honestly if I think about it, for his entire life! That dog has taught me so much, and pushed me to dream and believe that IT IS possible!

We participated in the CKC Agility Team Tryout at the end of March, and had an amazing weekend on some very challenging, fun & FAST courses designed by Zeljko Gora from Croatia.  We had two clean runs, placing 6th & 10th – and the other four had some faults. My favourite run of the weekend actually is one that we ended up off course at the end, and of course it was totally my fault! I will post some video when I get my butt into gear and do some editing…!

I was hopeful that we would do well enough to be offered a spot for the European Open in July in Germany this year – we ended up being named the first alternate.  It is a little bit hard to be that close, and not quite get it – but I know that with time, we will…and I really do believe that things happen the way they do for a reason.

So here’s to journeying forward, daring to dream…and all that the future will bring us.

~ Karen