Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.
~ W. Clement Stone
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, or if you know me in person, you likely know that I am always seeking. For more information, for better ways to do things, for those people and sources who can give me more than what I already know.
For much of my (relatively short) agility career, I have struggled with finding a “fit” in the mentor department. As a much younger person, I had grown up riding horses, constantly monitored and taught by those “in charge” of things and thought this whole dog agility thing couldn’t be too vastly different. But, it didn’t take me long to figure out it was. Way different. I learned, and I looked, and I had to move about quite a bit to find the right match for where I was especially in the beginning. I wouldn’t settle with what I had, and I finally did find someone who helped me through that initial phase. But, the nature of a phase is that it ends. And so, on I went looking for more.
Part of me wonders if its the ingrained American “consumer” DNA in me—always thinking the grass must be greener… But, I’d like to hope its more than that. At this point in time, I’ve found my grass, and its very green, and I’m very content to stay here for a while.
As I’ve hoofed it down this experimental path that is agility, I’ve met a lot of people. Some for just a moment, and some for a lot longer. But, innately, I can’t hang around those I dont get the “good” from for long. Sometimes there are temptations or wrong turns taken, but those who really have something to offer, they shine through. And they give and give, with honesty and earnestness. And it doesnt mean this is the end of the road, but that I can pause, and appreciate, and most importantly, finally choose who I will take from and hopefully give back, in some way, too.
I seem to be semi-suddenly surrounded by really truly talented and lovely teachers and friends. People who I look up to and who inspire me. Some are well-known, some not-so-much, but through the power of trying to stay positive and willing the good things to happen, I have been fortunate to have many talented influencers at my disposal.
While I continue to practice all things agility, I am taking two classes right now that fall outside what many people would consider traditional agility-related instruction. One is the ongoing Motivation and Engagement series taught by Kellie Ford, an extremely talented understudy of Denise Fenzi down here in San Diego, and the other is Daisy Peel’s online Clear Mind class. I practice no actual agility in either class, yet both have informed and influenced the way I look at nearly every aspect of my training and competition practices in a new light. And, they both have provided me a huge wealth of information to share with my current and future students.
And, in addition, I have found great people whom I can count on to just enjoy their company. They may or may not be on world teams or be the winners of their classes, but they are good people and good to their dogs and that’s what matters most. I am lucky to have found them, but I also believe its because I would not settle for anything less.
My overall point is to encourage anyone who reads this to continue to look for what you know is out there. Focusing on the positives and surrounding yourself with people and situations that allow you to grow can change things, quickly and dramatically. There is no reason to feel trapped, except for the reasons you tell yourself. There may be unexpected gems in “non-agility” options, don’t be afraid to look under rocks. If you believe there is better for you out there, then go get it. It’s out there, waiting.
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And in the spirit of focusing on the good, here is our highlight reel we were asked to make for our Clear Mind class. I was worried I wouldnt have enough footage I was proud of, but this worked out pretty darn well.