Its Getting Serious Now

IMG_0757I was a little worried yesterday to be honest. Since I’ve gotten to the Netherlands I haven’t really felt very nervous or anything. I’ve been on a nice few days of sight seeing, and sleeping. This jet lag is a real thing! I don’t know how Mariah does it, further proof that she is a super human and needs to be revered… But I haven’t really thought much about the upcoming trials other than to focus on getting my dog as prepared as I possibly can. Each morning/afternoon I’ve been taking her on bike rides through the various villages close to where I’m staying in Neerloon. Its a really cute little village with a nearby train station and shops in other close by villages. Like I said, its been a really nice couple of days.

Well that all changed last night. I drove to where the Dutch International Sheepdog Trials will be held so that I could sort of get my bearings straight and have a look at the fields, plus it was a chance to drop off some dog food, that Purina generously donated, to team members Beverly Lambert and Joe Haynes. Bev, Joe, Heather and I went out to dinner afterwards at a place I’m sure I’ll go to again. The food was great and the servers were cute. My two main criteria when choosing a delicatessen.

The fields were very pretty. Both looked like they could be part of the lawns of some great castle they were so green! Both are fairly flat with a little undulation here and there but nothing severe. Most of the ground here is pretty flat which makes it predictable to a point but also plays hell with my depth perception. We get two runs a day, one on each field and then a few people progress to the double lift final on Sunday afternoon. It should be a good time. The strange thing though is that I’m not competing against people that I’ve ever run against before in my life. Half of the people I’m running against I’ve only ever read their names in books or in ISDS magazines. Not that this scares me necessarily but it is a bit nostalgic.

So I got back to Francis’s place last night fully expecting to be exhausted and ready for a long hard sleep, and yet here I am at 4:30 after not sleeping for shit, blogging in the kitchen with 6 shots of espresso. This is surely going to add up to success! But at least it feels like my competitive side has finally landed on the continent!

Side note: At dinner last night we talked a lot about a lot of things, as people do. But one thing we all agreed on was how incredible the support for the world team has been this year. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen the community get so behind its team and we wanted to let everyone know that we greatly appreciate it!

Which leads me to my typical shameless self promotion. I can’t say what it means to me to have received so much personal support to help make this dream a reality. And I’m trying my best to bring everyone along with me, to see the gorgeous sights that I’m seeing and keep people updated on the latest news. If you’d like to contribute then please click SUPPORT DEREK’S NETHERLAND ADVENTURES

This week has had some pretty tough news for me personally. I spoke about it in a previous post and its had me really thinking. So, do me one favor; Today, RANDOMLY, do something kind for someone else. Don’t tell them that you’ve done it, just do something that will be sure to make someone else smile today. It might be as easy as sending someone a funny card or leaving a few flowers on someone’s desk at work. The world needs more kindness and love in it. I’ve felt it from you all since I began this journey back in November, so I know you all have a ton of love to give. Try, just for a day, to be the reason someone smiles.

As always, thank you for reading my ramblings! And Much Love to you all!

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