Friday, August 19, 2011

Oh how the wheels in my head can turn.

Just from reading or hearing someone's thoughts. Especially when it's written in a very thought provoking way.
This blog post is what I'm talking about. Even though I have never met her in person or even spoken with her, the things I have read about her and what she writes on her blog are so inspiring and so very relatable to my life that I feel very close to her in a way.

Of course, that post made me think about my time as a team member in all the sports I've played versus agility. I played team sports like soccer, volley ball and basket ball and individual sports like tennis (only a couple times, mind you), cross country and track and field. As much fun as the individual sports were - being able to push yourself beyond your own personal limits and exceeding them and coming out victorious - knowing that you did that all by yourself, is really cool. It feels great. But nothing compares to the bond you share with your teammates. With a team you are together every single day for practice or a game and then every single weekend for a tournament. We'd support each other on and off the court, cheer eachother on as a team, have team lunches at school, and cirlce before every game saying what we wanted to accomplish that game. For the 6-7 months you are on the team, that is a lot of hours, a lot of sweat, blood (literally) and tears left on the court.

Basketball was the sport I stuck with the longest. My basketball teams over the years comprised mostly of the same people so I formed amazing friendships over the years - strong bonds with those girls. They're my family. However, it got to the point where basketball was no longer fun, but rather a chore - work. It wasn't fun. The coaches wanted more out of me than I could offer. It was hard hearing negative feedback everytime I would step on the court. In the end of the day, basketball was not worth it anymore.

"If I miss anything about the sport, it's the camaraderie of old teammates." 
- Bo Jackson

The difference with basketball and agility is that I'm in control all the time. I decide whether it will be fun or not. I have to make the best of my time out there with my dogs. The team between me and my dogs is sometime in itself. We are family. Always together.

My competitive edge has maybe toned down a bit - maybe not. Okay, that was a complete lie. It hasn't at all. But I can cope with stress better than I could before. I can accept failure easier now - even though I'm still working on it. I never took advice well, either. I was in the mindset that I did everything the best. Even though I knew I knew nothing, I knew enough to know the difference between right and wrong. But even still, taking someone elses advice was hard for me. Unless you were my idol, then I was all ears. (Justine, hehe)

My dogs have been amazing teachers with that issue. They have showed me that no matter what the outcome - whether it be my dog runs off the field to go to the water or runs clean and is named National Champion - in the end of it all, they're my dogs who love me and who love the sport for the sport and love it for me. They're just dogs helping me have the best journey along this path called "life" as I can.

Having dogs as a part of my life , my whole life, starting when I was young has really helped me. They have taught me more life lessons than any person could. They fill my heart with so much love, they let me grow - as a person, dog trainer and teacher. They have patience. Understanding, almost, that I am growing and learning as we stumble along.  It nothing else, I thank them. They are truly the best teammates anyone could ask for.

“You are all Champions in your own way. That doesn't mean you have to be number 1 or be the best. Just do your best. If you aren't first, then make those people ahead of you break records by pushing them with your personal best. Consider for a moment what we achieve from athletics - the sheer fun of competing - the building of a healthy and alert mind and body - stamina, courage, perseverance, dedication, commitment, selflessness and most importantly, the will to excel.”


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