Monday, January 28, 2013

Flyball, Facebook, and Fitbit

Last weekend I attended my first NAFA tournament as a California resident. Most tourneys that we go to out here are U-FLI -- not because of any political sentiment, but because most NAFA tourneys on the West coast are held outside on grass while the U-FLI tourneys are held under cover on mats. Since we practice on mats and run for time at all tournaments, we prefer to play on mats. 

The Chino tourney site on Sat morning
This particular NAFA tourney, however, was at the Chino CA airport, and we shared the inside of a large hangar with funky little helicopters and planes. Two rings on mats, great tournament site.

Anyway, since I'm a newbie out here, I didn't really know many of the people or teams at this NAFA tournament, and that felt both weird and liberating at the same time. No drama (that I was involved in or even knew about, anyway)! No history! I'm totally anonymous! If I have little pieces of chocolate-covered espresso beans stuck in my teeth (which I was eating by the pound all weekend long), nobody will notice or care, because nobody knows me or wants to talk to me! 

My ignorance was brought painfully in check on Sunday, when one of the judges sauntered over to chat with me during warm-ups. "Were you here yesterday?" he asked. "Ummm...yeah...?" (I'm thinking, he must have me mistaken for somebody else. How does he even know who I am? Nobody knows me here!) He continues on, "I must have missed you! It's good to see you!" ("Oh shit!" I'm thinking, he really has mistaken me for somebody else!) At that point I asked him, awkwardly, "Who do you think I am?" and he looked startled and said, "You're Lisa." This guy, unlike me, was totally on the ball. We had met several years ago at Cynosports, and we were Facebook friends, and he actually knew who I was (I knew who he was, too, obviously --  he was the judge, there was no missing who he was ;)). He recognized me on sight and went out of his way to say hello. God, I hope there weren't any espresso beans in my teeth. 

Suddenly I'm wondering how many other Facebook friends were at the tournament that I didn't acknowledge or recognize. I wondered if they knew who I was, and if I should introduce myself, or attempt to chat with them, or what. Does anybody else deal with this at tournaments??? 

(In my defense, more than half of you have a picture of your dog as your profile photo, so I wouldn't be able to recognize you from that anyway.)

So I just wanted to say, for the record, that if i don't talk to you at a tournament, please don't take it personally! I am just awkward, and used to flying under the radar. I actually loved having somebody proactively come up to me and to say hello, it was awesome. I will try to do much more of that in the future, and hope you all will do the same with me. 

Facebook is a really great way to connect with the flyball community in general. All weekend long I was seeing updates from others in Chino, and for days after the tournament we got photo updates from Caroline Fenton, who took a gazillion pictures there. It all made for a nice post-tournament buzz. 

Not a lot of steps taken during blog writing...
While we're on the subject of social media and chocolate-covered espresso beans, does anybody out there use a Fitbit? (Fitbit is a tiny little gadget that clips to your pants or rides in your pocket and tracks your daily steps, floors climbed, miles walked, calories burned, sleep efficiency, etc.) I LOVE my Fitbit. When I first got it I worried that I would become too obsessive-compulsive about it and that it would make me feel guilty every day, but it has instead become a fun motivator. I like seeing how different types of days stack up against each other. On Saturday at the flyball tournament I walked 12,213 steps (a little over 5 miles) and on Sunday I walked 13,204 steps and climbed 3 floors (the equivalent of "The World's Tallest Corn Stalk," according to Fitbit). For comparison's sake, I walked 12,000 steps at Disneyland, and the most I've ever walked on it is 15,000 steps (on a Saturday that included flyball practice then a two-hour walk). A typical day at work and puttering around the house is about 4,000 steps. 

We were running three teams in Chino (I only had a dog on one of them, and took stats for the other teams), and we were crated indoors, not too far from racing. I bet there are some tournaments where we'd walk twice that much. Is anybody else out there tracking it? Also curious to see how flyball compares with other dog sports. 

Hope you all have a great week. Connect with me via Facebook or Fitbit anytime!


Nicole Hrustyk said...

OMG, there's my van. Eek scary!!!

Patty said...

I wasn't able to make this tournament but heard from the rest of my team that the venue was great. Welcome to CA flyball:-) - Patty (Pacific Pups)

jrtresq said...

I was at this tournie with SKYLER, my green flyball JRT, running with my new team (Bakersfield Tailspins) for the first time. He was only able to concentrate when running in the left lane (he turns to the left). He also earned his second title at this tournament! GREAT tournament and SUPER vENUE.

Meagan said...

I wasn't at the tournament. Also, when are you going to blog some more? Are you doing flyball now that you have moved to Colorado? I live in Arizona and have only been to a few tournaments you have been to. Loads of people know who you are though, because of your book and blog. :-) Duh. LOL You are a famous flyball person

Lisa Pignetti Murnan said...

Meagan, your comment tripped me out -- I had to go back and re-read this post (it's 2 years old!!) and I hardly even remember writing it. 2 years is like a lifetime ago. :) I'm not doing flyball in CO right now, but never say never. I'm raising a Golden Retriever puppy for a service dog organization and she's got me caught up training all kinds of new things. Plus I married a disc dog guy, so I'm around a lot more disc doggers than flyballers these days. Maybe i'll find a good tourney to go to soon and just walk around offering to help boxload, set up props, etc., and bask in the barking and all the good flyball vibes.

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