I've been fascinated by Sherman for a long time. 30 for 30 did a feature on him; his life and how it has unfolded amazes me. As one who studies mental management and sport psychology, I loved getting an uncensored look into the mind of one of the best ever in that post game interview. The interview was raw....Sherman just had the play of his life....a play that allowed his team a nod to the Super Bowl. He is the real deal and I loved that peek into the mind of a champion. I don't get to see the "real" look very often. I get the scripted blah blah but not deep bottom soul belief in oneself. I want a dose of that.
A good friend told me a story the other day, "There was a cowboy I know who was physically impaired in his lower back and his legs were immobile. He bound his legs in the stirrups when he rode. Needless to say that's very dangerous. He became a champion roper despite his disability. He gave motivational speeches to help people. He shared that he lived by one mantra self questions, "How bad do you want it?" So, how bad do you want it?"
I look at Sherman and see a man who has let nothing keep him from his want. I look deeper into myself. I'm on a journey, a journey filled with a deep desire, and as I live it I ask myself "how bad do you want it?" I put in the time, there are days where I am not very good, improvement is measured in seconds, I've been told I can't live my dream, I've been encouraged to settle for right where I am now, I've been surrounded by love, understanding, a kick in the pants, and a bit of motivation. When I accomplish my want.....I will cross the finish line with my arms above my head (if I can lift them) and know that deep in my soul I am the best me I can be. That is what I learned from Sherman and his uncensored passion for his want. Nothing will stop me. I find myself needing to ask for help as I am doing things I have never done before. I will seek out those who believe in my want with a commitment to seeing it through. I find myself on a journey of deep, profound private digging knowing the only things that hold me back are myself and fear. How bad do I want this?? I want it bad enough that I won't quit, I won't lessen my passion, I will soldier on and surround myself with those who believe, speak truth, support, challenge, lift me up, kick my ass, and at the end of the day will be there when I cross that finish line.
On the other hand, I watched a 30 for 30 last night about Tanya Harding. I left that show knowing that I want to be counted in the Sherman category of one who believes in oneself and leaves no room for blaming. There are no limitations to me becoming the best me I can be! In fact, no one can be a better me than I can!
I worked Dot today, and her little 3/4 sister Mist. I had sooo much fun. I'm not sure that much fun should be legal! Dot got a little amped up so I went back to some of the work I had been doing of "showing" her and laying her down before her mind got in her way. As soon as she felt settled, I went back to the bigger, more complicated stuff. It was not perfect but damn was it fun!!!!
Mist is doing great as well. I am trying to show her she is okay inside the pressure point. More fence work and tight work is in order because she too looks awesome as long as her distance is spot on. She does not like to tell the sheep anything though so I'm believing confidence is needing strength.
Tomorrow Miss Gyp is running Open N/C at a fun little winter trial with a big huge drive! Shed, pen, single.....I can't wait to see what Gyp thinks of all that. If it goes to hell in a hand basket I might just get to the work at hand and see where we are. But I am believing she just might shine; as long as we don't get one of those wily old shetlands.......we have been working hard on all that can happen. I'm sure there will be a lot learned from the day.
After many years, working with many clinicians, I've begun to find my own rhythm. It's similar to how I cook, I'm known to follow a recipe but add a bit more of this and a little less of that until the end result suite my tastes. There are certain types of food that I love more than most: Mexican, Italian, and of course American, whatever that is. Now that I have settled into sugar-free, grain-free, milk-free living, my Mexican does not look much like the fajita of years past and my Italian finds itself on a bed of zucchini "noodles" without a whole lot of cream sauce to be found. Although I just learned that cream sauce is not really Italian, maybe more French.
My dog training certainly leans towards the muscle memory created by those who I have worked the most with. That way of thinking just speaks to me. Although some purists would not find much in common with my way of training when compared to the original methods, opinions are like...well, never mind. I think back to my one lesson where the particular clinician told me that I gave a lot of corrections but left my dog hanging without many answers. That thought has stuck with me for years as I sort and work to try adding clarity to my relationships with my dogs.
I've come to a most profound conclusion: I'm working towards training like I want to be treated. I'm the kind of gal that likes to be shown an idea first before I try it. Once I've been shown, I like to be kindly told when I am wrong but also like knowing when I am correct as well. If I don't get the new task perfect with time, I like to be shown again. I do not like being yelled at, nor do I appreciate being belittled. I'm a work in progress for sure, and the cessation of yelling is one of those badass skills I am working on in myself.
Today, I tried a little bit of "showing" Dot what I wanted in helping her to deepen the top of her flank to land proper and help find balance. It was interesting to see her tension free but it was a little different for me as I did not do much correcting the wrong; it was more showing the answers. I put her away and look forward to tomorrow to see if she figured out some of what I was hoping to help her find.
A few weeks ago, a friend mentioned, after watching me work Dot, that she was not taking my soft corrections. Rather than stay with the harder, louder correction, I am making an effort to give the soft correction and then get her to take that. I'm really having to sort myself on this one; it is so much easier to get hard and loud for me. I'm picking on myself for consistency and criteria, so if I ask for something, I should get that. If I give a correction, I should get a response to that as well. Sometimes changing myself is the biggest challenge...wait, strike that.....always changing myself is the biggest challenge!
BADASS: to do something you never thought you could. Includes attempting something you thought you could never do.....requires courage, focus, desire, seeking, expectation, warrior, gladiator, dragon slayer and a belief in dreams come true!
My BADASS won't look much like any other person's badass which absolutely thrills me and brings me to center. I told a friend the other day I was working on giving up competing against others and really focusing on becoming all that I can BADASS be! It is so freaking freeing!!!!! On the other hand, it seems to take some serious BADASS to actually live out!
Everywhere I look, it feels as if the "world" tries to suck me into comparing badassness. Maybe because part of my world revolves around competition with placements.....but I do love what a "mentor" once told me as I sat in first at a tough open trial. "You put down a run, the best you could for today. If somebody beats you, their run was better. But you still put down a run." BADASS.
Another friend inquired the other day about my lack of blog entries. My BADASS journey becomes a little more private when the posturing comes around. I sort that through. See, here is the deal.....YOU can live a badass life all the while I am living my own BADASS life and it does not need to detract for any other's badass life.
So there you have my thoughts for today. What makes me BADASS you might wonder? Well, Dot certainly brings forth much that I never knew I might be able to do.......it is the attempt at sorting Miss Dot that makes for BADASS. I ran her in a little ranch run the other day and saw glimmers of a relationship which makes my heart sing. I used Bella to shed off some fine wool ewes from a little mob and bring them out to work with a friend. It was hard and Bella had to really dig deep and get it done without much from me. That accomplishment with no grip, no tension and well done was serious BADASS! Who knew?! Little Nell driving and working hard for me on those same sheep that drive her to use her teeth.....BADASS.
So I keep my eyes on my journey and those who share in it. It does not matter what others think; I can't change or influence their thoughts anyway. I look ahead and make plans for what the year might bring for travel and trails and dog work. I dream of my puppy fever cure. I dig deep and work towards finding the courage to be all that I can be, pushing myself past where I thought that I might end up and finding I can go deeper all the while not comparing myself (or my dogs for that matter) to any other standard than finding the joy in being and doing things I never thought I could.