New Actions

I tend to get quotes stuck in my head for weeks (longer) at a time. Since beginning my agility and fitness journeys I always surrounded myself with them. A few weeks ago while reorganizing my home office I found quotes that I printed and cut out from 2013: ones Nancy Gyes included in the World Team training booklet that year. I remember pasting those quotes on the mirror in the bathroom, in my desk cubicle, and taped inside my training notebooks (“I will act now, I will act now, I will act now…”). They propelled me, these phrases. Words have always had that kind of power.

The current quote I find myself repeating endlessly these days is a simple but powerful reminder: New actions will get you new results.

While it’s been far from perfect, my agility life has been shaken up in the last year in some of the best possible ways. Seeker is beginning to grow into a wonderful training partner– eager to work, willing to learn, and ever-building drive and speed. In so many ways this has helped reignite something that’s been missing for a long time: a fire, some magic, and a lot of love. For the first time in far too long I’m excited for training sessions, seminars, and the future. It’s opened me up to the possibility of dreaming again in the sport with Bolt, too.

Image may contain: dog, outdoor and natureLast week I entered World Team tryouts. A decision that took months of teetering on before finally, without ceremony, I took the leap. In the scheme of things, this is not a new action– far from it, actually– but for a long time Team wasn’t in the plans and so this feels bold and exciting (#boldandbrave2019). This coming weekend also marks the first seminar I’ve attended as a student in nearly two years, one where both of my dogs will run for the first time. I’ve been afraid to commit myself to things like this, afraid of potential disappointment if I couldn’t go– certainly afraid to start setting goals again, too. But here we are.

One thing I’ve always loved about agility is its natural ability to push people outside their comfort zones. It happens in the smallest of steps–of just choosing to start training– to the big stuff, too. Whether i handling choices, travel, meeting new people and cultures, or entering that event, we can constantly choose to challenge our beliefs about ourselves and our dogs and our abilities. Agility bridges these gaps, making the previously-impossible, attainable. I’ve seen this again and again while teaching, especially when handlers give a blind cross a try for the first time. There’s a moment of eyes widening as they go for it, quicker feet, and usually a delighted giggle when it all goes right. I’ve watched friends literally grow up alongside the sport, achieve dreams they didn’t expect, watched them stand on boxes they couldn’t believe.

Growth does not come without discomfort. Goals can only been reached by pushing into the unknown.

Agility taught me many years ago how much I’m capable of. I learned that I was brave enough to travel across the country by myself; to put into words exactly what my dreams were and to chase them; to ask for help when I needed it; to step to the line under the greatest pressure I’ve ever felt and succeed. It’s introduced me to some of my favorite people in the world. It’s taught me how strong I can be physically and how determined I can be mentally. It’s no wonder then that I can’t just walk away from this.

I’m learning to appreciate the sport in a new light and working on removing some of the pressure I’ve placed on it over the last decade. I believe it’s possible to chase goals and dreams without robbing yourself of the passion and magic the chase holds (even if I’m still trying to figure this part out fully). I’m acutely aware that these new steps may not result in the same end goal and that is entirely okay. In a lot of ways that end goal has morphed into something new and something that looks a lot less like an outcome and much more like a process.

So take that new action. Enter the show, the race, the event. Sign up. Run a little further, lift a little heavier– be afraid and do it anyway.

I promise you’ll find new results if you do.


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