I'm really not much for setting goals down on paper, either in my life or in agility. I tend to just wing it. Perhaps not the most efficient way to live, but that's how I do it. However, since the NADAC Championships are less than eight months away, I decided this might be a good time to really commit myself to a few things that will improve my ability to run a course.
I suppose the factor that weighs most heavily upon my ability to handle is my weight. I have been almost 50 pounds overweight for more years than I care to think about. I started keeping track three weeks ago, hoping to give myself a 10-pound weight loss for my birthday. That's not looking too likely at this point, but I am hoping to soldier on and lose 30 pounds by October.
I want to be able to run a half mile in five minutes. Not world class time, but if I can do that easily, than the longer courses of Championships shouldn't leave me gasping for oxygen.
Put more energy into my runs with Belle. I can be pretty laid back out on the course, cranking my energy level up a few notches may be just what Belle needs to run a wee smidgen fast. And a wee smidge is all she really needs to be really competitive.
As far as my goals for Belle, other than getting her to run with a little more abandon, I would like to help her eliminate her stress scratching at the startline. I've been working for almost a year on this. I've tried asking her to bark, and she usually complies, but it is often a rather subdued bark.
At home, I work on getting Belle to line up on my right and left sides and then move a little forward or backward so she has to realign herself. She plays this game with excitement at home, but when I try to get her to do it in the ring, I get a halfhearted response. Last night, it dawned on me that at home we never play this game with a leash on. Duh! This morning, I made sure to remove her regular collar and put on her agility lead so she realizes she is free to give the same energetic responses on lead.