Monday, February 6, 2012

I have to ask the crazy questions

Agility is a lot of fun and way more complicated than I ever expected it to be, it always looks so easy on television.  I am the only student in class who has not competed in Agility with another dog.  Actually, I'm the only one in class who doesn't already have a dog who excels in another sport.  We have some very talented people in class and I'm very honored to learn alongside of them.  This however, brings up situations where I'm totally lost while everybody has already moved on to the next lesson.  This means I'm the one who asks a lot of questions.

A few weeks ago our instructor gave us a slightly complex sequence and while we were all looked a bit baffled she said, "Walk the Course!"  Everybody starts to mutter while swinging their arms in the air, it looks like some kind of tribal dance. I was still trying to figure out the sequence and didn't pay much attention to what everybody else was doing. I managed to fumble my way through the sequence.

The following week, it happened again, this time we had a simple sequence and our focus was on tight turns over a jump.  She said "Walk the Course!"  Everybody starts wandering about faces fiercely concentrating while arms are swinging about.  I of course, follow the more experienced students and after a minute realize I have no idea what they are doing.  

This means of course I have to ask the crazy question (and I'm sharing so you won't have to in a similar situation).  I turn to my instructor and say, "I don't get it, what are we doing?"

Everybody kind of stops and looks at me, which makes me feel like I should know what I'm doing.  My instructor looks a bit baffled and she explains the exercise again.  Now, I'm totally embarrassed and wish I could stop asking remedial questions but I continue.  "I know where we are doing, but where is Marley supposed to be during the exercise."  

 Well it turns out "Walking the Course" means you walk the sequence and you visualize where you are in relation to your dog.  

The uncomfortable embarrassed feeling was awful; however I'm happy I asked.  Not only did our instructor explain this but it reminded her that I'm still new and she is offering more support when she asks us to "Walk the Course. 

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