Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why I Do This...

We are home from our trek across the state to attend the beautiful Fire Ridge Sheepdog Trial in Milton-Freewater Oregon. What a wonderful weekend! We were honored to stay with our new friends Erica & her very humorous husband Randy at their gorgeous home in Walla Walla. Jaenne stayed there as well & the dogs enjoyed nice long play sessions in their yard.  Friday evening was spent eating the best lasagna I have ever had at Mary Hamilton's house, and Saturday evening more delicious food courtesy of Melinda Eden at a little place in Umapine, OR for the handlers dinner. 

You can read about Jaenne's weekend at the trial on her blog Kip & Mo

Quick Congrats to Dianne Deal for her incredible wins this weekend in nursery, pronovice and open.  Dianne...you rock!

Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

The novice/novice course was challenging.  Mary Ann Lindsay swept the field with two lovely runs to a well deserved overall win.   Unfortunately there were only 4 scores out of two complete novice class runs - Mary Ann had two of them.   Our new friend Erica had one with Tate, and I had the other with Brynn.  I had to retire both of Beth's runs, however I was VERY happy with Brynn. She got a 55 the first run despite being handler impaired. The second run was even better - up until her handler screwed her up and the sheep got away from us and she was unable to get them back off the exhaust. I chose to retire to help her rather than struggle with something that was not going to end well. 

Mary Hamilton video taped the runs for me - she cracked me up when she said "That dog saved her ass" on the video. She was right! Brynn did a good job in spite of her idiotic handler. This sport is truly humbling.

Brynn placed second over all, even with one run retired. I asked a friend of mine what it means when you see scores like this. She said it could mean one of several different things, either...

1) Handlers were not ready

2) Dogs were not ready

3) Sheep or course were not what the competitors expected

4) Conditions were too difficult

In Brynn & Beth's case it was #1. Handler was not ready. I am not sure why...we have been working plenty. My confidence level is growing & my dogs were ready. I think, for me, it was a combination of sleep deprivation, low blood sugar and cephaloanaldisproportion (in layman's terms that is "head up ass syndrome").

I need to get over myself.

To be completely honest...I am too damn self conscious about my appearance.  I confess, it is ego.

Not ego about winning or losing.

Not ego about my dogs.

A deep seated embarrassment about my damn weight. I feel like I don't belong. I see all these skinny people and think - what the hell am I doing here? Insecurity is ego.  It is worry about what others think, how they feel, what impression I am making.  It is ego pure and simple...and so easy to allow myself to be sucked into it's self destructive depths.

I need to remember why I do this.  Why am I here?  Remind myself of the postive effects this journey has had on my life.

I am here for my dogs. I am here for me. I am here to learn, to improve myself, my dogs and my life. I am here to grow as a person. To have fun, overcome challenges; make friends.

And for once in my life...not quit something I love, because I don't feel like I belong, or can't be perfect.

I need to focus on what I love & why I am doing it.  Not my waist line, immense derriere or what people think of my frizzy horrible white hair.

I am here for that amazing feeling I have when everything comes together. When you experience that symbiotic relationship between yourself, your dog & the sheep.   A truly intoxicating, enchanting feeling that cannot be duplicated - a space in your head where you let go of the ego, the self conscious thoughts, self destruction and simply slip into a world of  teamwork and purpose.

Why am I really here?

I am here for my idea of Nirvana -  Where I can find perfection in the moment, where nothing else outside the teamwork between myself and my dog exists.  It doesn't have to be peaceful, it can be hard as a pimple on a boar's ass...but as long as we face it together...then it is perfect.


Robin French said...

Try to remember --- No one is looking at you - they're all watching the dogs! :-)

Erin O said...

What Robin said :)

It takes 5 years to make a good dog and 10 years to make a good handler. Just keep throw yourself at the wall and you will begin to stick.

sagechronicles said...

You are out there doing it, no matter what! And that's all that counts!

Karen said...

Love Brynn's ears in the last photo, and it seemed like it needed a caption:

"Say What?! Quit worrying about yourself out there woman. Just think about me and the sheep and where we are supposed to be going, and what we are supposed to be doing!"

RYKER said...

I think Brynn is sayin' "I'm Ear for ya Mom!"

We truly are our own worst critics. Do what you love and love what you do and everything else will fall into place. You are so good at recognizing and facing your own fears. Your a winner in our eyes!

Monique said...

Watch your sheep, girl. :)

Pat A said...

Carolynn I have been overweight ever since they took my thyroid away for 20 years. I learned quickly to just think of myself as I am. If I can do all the work, I never think that people are looking at me the way I am built but for who I am as a person. When you realize that, you will be confident and be able to do the best you can do at that time and that is all that counts. Your dogs love you no matter what and so do your friends. No one else matters anyway.

forensicfarmgirl said...

You are beautiful just the way you are! Forget about the weight! I'm having the same issues myself now that I've hit my mid-40's and the weight is creeping up on me, but you know what? I'm happier than I've ever been with WHO I am right now. I'm a lot happier person now than when I was skinny. And most important - the dogs don't care as long as food appears in the bowl, and you can still work the sheep and throw the stick!

Laura L. said...

I'm in my mid 40's now with the creeping weight too and I went with my "God given highlights" about 6 years ago. It's hard for me to see pictures of myself or to take a serious look in the mirror because in my head I'm still 22, slim with gorgeous reddish hair. Who the heck is that that looks sort of like me, but a lot more like my mom? Eeeek! You are who you are and we care more about what you do rather than what you look like. Having said that though, the pictures of you look great. Don't be so hard on yourself!

Laura L. said...

I also have to agree that I'm a much happier person now than I was 20+ years ago.