GAMBLERS AND ADDICTS!
As soon as think about my "outside the ring" activities, my brain immediately swings to the reasons I do that stuff, and it is all to do with what goes on "inside the ring"!
Even now, as I think about an agility round, I start to feel that wonderful thrum of excitement in my heart and a slightly wide-eyed, "in the moment" focus.
Every time we enter the ring we hold out hope for that perfect round - one of those moments of understanding between dog and handler that transcends all our real world concerns.
Nothing is guaranteed, of course, and every competition has champions taking falls and novices celebrating surprise wins. It is all part of what brings us out to compete again and again: the gamble of each and every round.
The "outside the ring" stuff just helps us to load the dice in our favour.
We all have our pet training routines, queuing tips, and health advice for dogs and handlers. And we also have that "other stuff" that goes on outside the ring: perhaps those bills to be paid, work worries, emotional entanglements and so on.
Yet inside the ring, we can leave all that behind, and take another gamble on finding that perfect moment. It's like a drug, and we keep going back for more. And so much of what goes on outside the ring is to feed that habit.
"Hello, my name is Sally, and I am addicted to Gambling - Agility Gambling."
Somehow, I suspect I am not the only Agility Gambling Addict!