I leave this weekend for my first EOTT. An EOTT that I was not planning on attending, one that I sent in an entry for just 12 hours before closing. In the moment it felt silly, and not practical, but I jumped in anyway. And so, I had about three weeks to prep for an event, along with college life, and making new friends. But having the goal of EOTT made me more excited than I’ve been in a while.
I was home last week for Thanksgiving, and I spent most of that time binge-watching Scandal with my mom, which is one of our favorite things to do (besides agility of course). And while I was home I was looking at the chalkboard wall in my room, one that has been filled with goals, and quotes, and plans for the a long time. But before I left for school last year, I wrote my mom a quick note on it, just telling her I loved her, and that note has stayed there all this time. But beneath that note, you can still see the goals that were written there previously, the top ones being “Get into an Ivy” and “AWC”, among many others. And one of those goals was EOTT 2015. The EOTT 2015 goal had been written there 3 years ago, with a quick note from my mom that simply read “get moving”. It’s funny that now I am attending that event, and only had 3 weeks to prepare.
The idea of attending EOTT has been in the back of my head for a while… apparently since 2015, but I have never attended. This summer my mom said that I should bring Zippy, one last hurrah for my boy. But it felt dumb, it felt like there was no point. But more importantly, it felt like admitting failure. At the beginning of the year I had the dream of taking Wave to EOTT this December. It was a big goal, but one that didn’t seem unattainable. It soon because obvious that we weren’t ready for competition like that, and so goals got readjusted like they have so many times before. And when the idea of taking Zippy came up, it felt like admitting that Wave wasn’t good enough, that Zippy, my mom’s dog, was the only one I would have the chance to realize those goals with. That’s obviously not true, but I was discouraged, and so the idea was brushed off.
Fast forward to this fall, and my friend asks me to go to EOTT with her, a fun trip to go and watch some great competition. I agreed, and then my mom brought the idea of bringing Zippy back up. And suddenly, it made all the sense in the world. If I’m going all the way there, why not bring him. Managing my mental game has always been tough for me, and this would be a great place to practice. And so I entered, and immediately began studying course maps.
Last week, I realized what attending EOTT meant for me, this year, in this moment. I was always too scared to enter before, too scared to face that failure. But now I know that there isn’t any failure that can come from this weekend, only growth and learning. And I couldn’t be more excited to lay down some runs with my best boy.