Thursday, March 4, 2010

Move Out of the Way!!!!! (Honey)

So I was at a tournament this past weekend, hanging out with a few friends in between races, and the topic came up of playing flyball with your spouse/significant other.

We all agreed that it was pretty stressful, almost to the point of making flyball not fun. A few reasons why:
  • When your teammate yells at you, "Move out of the way!!!" during a race, it's no big deal. You know it's just because it's loud in the building and everybody is pumped up. But when your spouse does it, it really pisses you off.
  • You and your spouse usually disagree on how hard to push the dogs during racing. For example, I remember a few years back when my ex-husband (he isn't my ex because of flyball ;)) ran one of our BCs in start and false-started EVERY SINGLE TIME. The dog ran at least 10 times, maybe more because the other team may have false-started, too. It was all because he was trying to time his release so that it coincided with the light, versus just moving up a foot and waiting for the light. I tried to explain to him that the world record team probably waits for the damn light, too, but he would have none of it. Which meant that he was running our poor dog into the ground (and i'm sure the opposing team was thrilled, too). I don't think we spoke for the rest of the day after that. 
  • You each assume (hope) the other is going to take care of the dogs in between races and at the hotel, and you start keeping score about how many times you have had to walk the dogs, give them water, etc. (It's even worse if you have kids with you!)
I know there are good things about playing flyball together - it's nice to be with somebody who actually doesn't mind you getting a 10th dog. And it's nice to have a boxloader when you're practicing with the dogs at home. 

But I've been playing flyball by myself for several years now, and I've gotta say it's pretty awesome to drive to the tournament by myself (I talk on the phone and listen to my ipod), stay in a room by myself, and do whatever I want all weekend without worrying about anybody else. Sure, I have to take care of all the dogs, but in some ways it's easier when you know there's nobody else around to help you - you come up with your own system for doing things, and you know for a fact when the dogs have been walked, fed, etc.

My boyfriend's hobby is skydiving, so on weekends he is either working (he's a tandem instructor) or practicing with his skydiving competition team. This means he will never be playing flyball with me, and I will never be going to the dropzone with him. We have our own hobbies, and I think that's great because we're both really competitive and I could see how if we were playing the SAME hobby, together, we may end up biting each others heads off. Instead, it gives us something fun to talk about, and it's cool to bounce ideas off each other (it's actually amazing how similar flyball and competitive skydiving are, except in flyball you don't usually die if you screw up).

Is anybody out there playing flyball with their significant other and actually loving it? Couldn't imagine doing it without them? What's your secret???

12 comments:

Fay said...

Yep! I play with my husband and I'm so glad! He gets into the "heat of battle" and yells at me, but I do the same so I don't take it personally. It's good to get out of town together and that can be a challenge when you own seven (count 'em, seven!)dogs so unless your going on a flyball trip, it's just too much trouble to go away otherwise. The best thing, we have fun and that's also the most important.

Anonymous said...

Oh yea, it can be an issue to run with your spouse. My husband still likes to bring up the tournament from 10 years ago when he collided with a dog and while he was laying on the mat I stepped over him to get to the dog. Well, I knew my husband wasn't going to run off!!!

As a judge, the closest I've ever been to removing a competitor from a tournament is my own, dear husband. And he definitely CAN NOT line judge if I'm judging. It's working better for us to have him stay home and hold down the fort.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I used to fight all the time when racing. He never praised the dogs enough. We found a happy solution. He is the clip board guy now and records all the stats during the race. He does a great job and loves doing it. We have a happier relationship now when entering the ring.
P.S. He has gotten way better too about walking/feeding the dogs.

Anonymous said...

Okay here is my quick story:
I came into flyball wayyyy after him. I really struggled when I got my first dog and in training the answer was because I said so. In the lanes I would ask him a question and he would say don't bitch to me, go tell your captain. It was hard on the team as well so I decided to go play and train with another team...that worked out well-ish. But I missed him...I realized I had expectations on him that I didn't have on the new captain. Thankfully the stars aligned and we now are on the same team again and things have been fantastic. He seems to respect me as a trainer and understand that I just wanted to learn the game. Someone said to me, that we just have to learn to pick our battles...and I most certainly am not about to lose the love of my life and father of my furkids over a game and placement prizes... :)

Kim said...

My husband and I are on the same club. On the lanes things are good, mostly. We do get snippy with each other at times but not often. If I say something about his handling he can get defensive so unless I really have an issue I just don't say anything or pick a time that I know he is less likely to get snippy back. He also does not come to practice often enough and well HE is considered the club captain and I am the club trainer but we don't own the club. Now that we have a new dog in training he is coming to practice because the new dog is a handful.

Now when he has been injured on the lanes it is usually something funny like getting bit in a certain manly area and well I just sit and laugh. Unless there is blood I won't worry about him getting hurt much either but he really worries about me.

At tourneys - he walks the dog he runs and will help me with mine if needed since I run 2-3 of the others and may need him to get one dog so I an switch out dogs quickly. Mornings and Nights I do most of the walking and feeding but I do that at home too. He is not as big on the dogs as I am. He in turn does almost all the repacking at the end of a tourney, etc...

My husband plays flyball because I play it. It is one of the only activities we do together so we make it work.

Andrew said...

Pissing each other off is part of being married though, it adds to the excitement of life. Certainly I couldn't imagine how people could be married for any length of time without pissing each other off on occasion.

I see plenty of couples in flyball and most of them don't compete against each other. They each have slightly different aspects of flyball that they focus on so they are "sharing" a hobby but not really stepping on each others feet.

Nadine and I both do flyball but we don't overlap really much at all. She has her responsibilities and interests in flyball and I have mine.

Julie said...

Well, you know Tom and I play flyball together. I just happen to be lucky enough that he's the most laid-back guy I know and is easy to do anything with. He's super competitive, but, not really when it comes to flyball (bikes are more his thing). He plays flyball for me and I love him for it. And he has fun with the kids, when we all bring 'em with us! :)
Although, since it's my sport and he plays for me, the one downside is that it hasn't increased the # of dogs in our house one iota!!

Kate said...

So I was one of those friends discussing this topic with Lisa in Talladega. My husband and I have a hard time playing flyball together because we are SUPER competitive - - a little psycho to be honest :) We have huge expectations for the other one, and huge expectations for our dogs and our team. We handle disappointments very differently. I immediately gripe and complain and then think through it and apologize later if necessary. He thinks and then speaks (like he should!). I LOVE that flyball gives us a chance to spend time together, but if we are going to continue to do it, we need to work out some communication guidelines!!

Kristie Pope said...

Todd and I have been together 10 years and running flyball all 10 of them. Most of our arguments are in the morning while we are flustered trying to get unpacked, dogs walked, etc. We don't fight often over what is best for the dogs. We fight over my big mouth and how I deal with others (any drama I stick my nose in). Basically, both of us have our adrenaline flowing and just seem to be touchy (or if you ask me, it's all him :)). I love playing flyball with Todd and we never let any bickering go far. Usually I just take a "mellow Yellow" anxiety pill in the morning and no one pisses me off. (There - now you all know the real reason I am late to races!)

Anonymous said...

Rob and I met because of flyball and it makes my life much easier...harder for him thought :) It enables me to judge and not worry about the pups or child for that matter. It's nice because he can do his thing and I show up to help as needed.
Aimee

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