Many of us take our dogs in for adjustment. Fewer of us take ourselves in for adjustment. I think more of us should go for a "mind" adjustment. A tweak here, a crack there, and everything seems to be a bit more colorful and bright.
I love agility more than just about anything, but it is more than just doing "sumptin" with my dog. I can do lots of fun things with my dogs, walking, hiking, clicker, sheep, ball, visiting friends... With agility, there is excitement, friendship, hardship, nature, companionship, competition, improvement, strategy, coordination, fitness, relaxation, all wrapped up into one thing.
I think alot about motivation when I think about agility. For many years I have run a dog that really doesn't get all that excited about agility. Sheep he gets excited about. Agility, not so much. How come I keep going?
I think because there is more to this sport than qualifying. I enjoy the learning process, the destination is out there, but the getting there is fun. I also believe that good friends have made a huge difference in my motivation for the sport. Even though my team might not be the fastest, I hang out with folks that are really cool and we support each other. I am hopeful that as a team Tazz and I will get better, and now that Fin is part of my team, no question about motivation.
But as I travel my road with Fin, I don't want to loose site of what has kept me here. I don't want to take any of this for granted.
I still get excited every time another premium is posted. Each time more information about the trial is posted I greedily go and read all about what is going on. I look at the trial statistics, the running orders, who I'm paired with. Location maps. I plan where I'll set up and where my car will be parked. I review the workers schedule to ensure I have enough time to not only run my dogs, but to watch my friends run theirs.
I can't wait to get course maps when I arrive so I can sit with my friends and plan our attack for the day (of course much of it changes when you walk the course, the planning is half the fun).
When the moment arrives, I'm still a little nervous. Walk up to that start line and WHAM! it is over pretty quickly.
Then the memories of the run. Was I where I wanted to be? Did I give my dog the best path? Where could I have shaved off time? Lots of things to talk about with friends.
At the end of the day, we clean up the field, pack up the equipment and head home. Results are posted and statistics managed. Sometimes this is the point I am low, just a moment of regret, the trial is over, questions persist, could I have done better? But another trial is on the horizon. I look forward with optimism and know that "I'll do it next time!"
Team Small Dog raised a question today. Is agility better than pie? It is close, pie is pretty high up there...but I would have to say, "Yes, agility is better than pie" However, I must state the obvious and say that "pie" can help with the mental adjustment.