Not so fast!
I’ve had replacement surgery in both my knees (not recently though, thank God!), and I want to know how realistic an idea it is for me to compete. I just can’t run so fast! My trainer says my dog and I can do it since we’re good in practice, but I’m concerned I just won’t be able to run fast enough. I love agility, and so does Maggie, but I don’t want to disappoint her.
Have you ever heard of the tortise and the hare? I am not guarunteeing you will win competitions, but I think it is worth a shot. I know many agility competitors (pretty good ones!) that have leg and foot troubles. If you really want to compete, do so! I would recommend speaking with your doctor to discuss ways to minimize damage (braces and footwear, perhaps?) and I would also recommend you be careful of venues notorious for slippery spots.
As a handler, you can learn to minimize your weakness – that you can’t run as fast as others. Teach your dog to handle from a distance! My trainer told me of one of her students – who was immensely pregnant at the time – who could stand in the center of the ring and not have to move hardly at all in order to get her dog to complete the training course! I think you have an opportunity to have an enjoyable, rewarding competitive career with your dog. Don’t worry about disappointing Maggie. You never could, that is the best thing about dogs. I firmly believe that until we let them know otherwise through our body language or stress, every run is a winner.
Do any of you have tips to share on how to run smarter, not faster?