It's interesting to see how things evolve in my life. I expect things to go one way, and life seems to give me a different path. When I was younger, I resisted it...I fought for what I THOUGHT I wanted.
Now...with maturity, I realize things happen for a reason. Paths change, life changes and you either go with the flow or you don't.
I have opted to go with the flow...and what the flow did this weekend was interesting :) But made me realize that sometimes life teaches you some amazing stuff. Herding was supposed to happen...it didn't. The agility trial I had decided to not enter, so I had a weekend like I wasn't expecting.
The big, unexpected thing that I found is...hearing of the success my students were having at the USDAA trial this weekend was much more fulfilling than if I was there showing my own dogs! Normally at a trial, I am running my 3 dogs, helping the husband with his dog, etc etc. I don't get to see my students run, or even know how they did until the weekend is over. The texts I got from them, with questions, with play by plays of their runs...it just filled me with so much joy!
My life has evolved...from starting out in agility in 2003, to wanting to be SUPER competitive--trialing as much as I can, etc etc etc....to now. Where I am enjoying the journey, the goals are the same as far as I want to do my best, but I realize for ME...my best doesn't mean I trial every weekend...doesn't mean I train my dogs daily. It means I take breaks when I need it without worrying my dogs will become untrained :) And I come back enjoying the game. And it IS a game for me, I can say that, something I TRULY play with my dog. I am SOOOO HAPPY to be at this place. Where agility is a hobby, a fun and competitive hobby, but not something that consumes me.
I'll be honest...for a very long time, I couldn't understand how some people could ONLY GO FOR A DAY at a trial? NOT trial Easter weekend? Trial or holiday...um TRIAL!!!! But now...I'm realizing, if I had to choose between a week with my dad, or an agility trial, the week with dad is going to win. There will ALWAYS be another trial. There will not always be time with family and friends.
I am transitioning a bit...from competitor to more of a competitor/coach situation. I enjoy helping others be successful. I enjoy seeing my students having those "in the zone" runs, the joy MY teaching brings to THEIR life is just well...THE MOST REWARDING THING EVER! :) Until this past weekend, I didn't realize just how important that was to me. I can win a class, win GP or whatever...and that isn't as rewarding as the text I get from a student saying they whooped it up in Standard...they got their first Master Q, or their very first trial was a success...
BTW Gator...you're special :)
SURE...I'm still training my dogs, I'm still working on myself, my handling, etc etc. Attending seminars, USDAA Regionals and Nationals and all that stuff. That hasn't changed...I want to have great runs, to win classes, to get GP Byes, to do well at Nationals, but I am now enjoying the training, the problem solving...that hasn't always been the most important part for me. I'm grateful for the shift in my thinking. It allows me to be a better trainer. To see my dogs in a logical fashion, their weaknesses and strengths, with no emotion other than acceptance.
I'm just no longer here for just myself and my goals. I am here for my dogs. I am here for my students and their goals.
It's a much different feeling...one that has evolved over this past few years, nothing sudden, no tragedy that caused a change in me...just slowly, little by little the focus has changed.
I like this change.
Guess getting older has some perks huh? :)
Don't get the idea I am just going to coast through agility trials though...I can't just coast, I can't play it safe, I can't not try to do my best and win if I get lucky...I just can't. That is NOT me :)
And of course the husband isn't in this phase...he is in the ULTRA MEGA COMPETITIVE PHASE...which is good since he has World Team in a few months ;-) He will be going to as many trials as possible between now and May...I however, will not. I will go to local trials, and try to get Lynn Qualified up (she just needs a GP and Steeplechase Q)...but otherwise, I'm just going to enjoy spring :)
Speaking of Spring...
My sheep are getting BIGGER!!! :) Due to Honey Badger going to the farm in the sky....not all the ewes were bred. Which is kinda sad. I LOVE LOVE LOVE lambing (so much seriously, I would take a job contract lambing if anyone wants to hire me!!!)...so we are going to rent a ram, a nice Dorset, to try to get those stragglers bred. Which will put us with some weird lambing dates, however...lambs are worth a lot right now. So we figure it is worth it!
Do you all remember Spot? The ewe with that black knee? She's bred! I am excited! Lambing should start the 2nd week of March...fingers crossed all goes well and we get some cute lambs :)
Come on LADIES! I want cute babies to take pictures of! NO bottle lambs please!!!!!
Oh...and a new development...Miss Cleo, crazy barn kitty is now social...freakin' weird.
I guess daily feedings have tamed the beast...
I wouldn't say Vittles is too crazy about Miss Cleo getting attention...but right now Vittles looks like Jaba The Hut...ONE FAT KITTY...as you can see the double chins...in reality that's just her winter coat...or so she tells us.
AND...the exciting news...in less than 2 days I will be sitting in the sun! ARIZONA HERE I COME!!!!
Scottsdale, Sedona and the Grand Canyon are all on the to do list :) Sedona is my happy place....something about it. I am just so peaceful there! Horseback riding, hiking, LOTS of pictures to take...and time to just enjoy being human :) The husband and I are totally psyched!
It's nice knowing the dogs will be so very well taken care of, my dear friend D is taking the pack again! She did indeed survive the first time with all of them, so I hope she can handle 5 days. And with our house sitter taking care of the sheep etc etc...and watching over the house. I am content knowing all our critters are taken care of.
I highly doubt I will blog on my trip...in fact the computer is staying HOME. So I hope everyone has a great week!