Monday, December 22, 2014

Power of the People -- Hippie thoughts

Yes, it is that time of year where we all give thanks and I will do that (later).  But regardless of the time of year, what I really think is cool is that people are examining their own motives and practices for agility.  And, many are going public with those thoughts.  The people are speaking up.  I am thankful for that!

The future of agility should be driven from the ground up, by the participants, not by the few in the board room.

I have seen a lot of blogs, and FaceBook comments on the topic of how much is too much and what is right for their team (the dog and handler).  I believe that the impetus for these public thoughts, comments, remarks is the announcement by USDAA and AKC about the increasing qualifications for Nationals in the coming year.

Many, many people are reaffirming how much trialing is too much for their teams.  How much stress to qualify is too much for their team.  There are many factors that lead to this decision.  We are trying to balance our day jobs/careers, kids, family, money, stress, and the health of our dogs. 

Regardless of your motive for getting into the sport and what evolutionary path your motivations have taken, keeping a balance is apparently mandatory for many of us.

Me personally, I had already made the decision back in August to back off some.  I had to trail too much to get all my National qualifications (because I have to travel to many trials) and for several years now I was VERY tired heading into Nationals because of that.  For me, that sucked the fun out of the sport.  I don't want to participate like that.  I want to be excited, refreshed and looking forward to my next big competition. 

So, at this point, I am not going to the Nationals of any venue.  I am going to spend the year enjoying my experience and figuring out how to get the "big competition" experience that I love so much, but without all the stress and exhaustion. 

Right now, I think that USDAA Regionals are the way I am going to go.  Great competition, lower qualifications to participate, run by clubs (who do a better job than USDAA), and people are still relaxed and fun to be around.

So people, continue to speak up.  Help the organizations understand what the future of agility should look like.