I would consider myself a mildly competitive person...I grew up showing horses, and as competitive as dog sports can be, I don't think they're any match to what I've seen in the horse show world! Competition there could be very, very ugly - especially when you were competing against friends.
Oddly enough, I see competition in agility quite differently. I don't look at my friends as competition and honestly, I don't think I look at any one else as competition either. I don't know why...I guess in my mind we're really only competing against the course. Sure, placements are nice, but at this point it's not something that I even really think about. I view agility as a team sport...and I can guarantee that my teammates are not thinking about "beating" another dog on course. :)
I'm always amazed when I hear stories of agility friendships that have turned sour over competition and it makes me sad. I love watching and cheering on my friends, and would like to think those feelings are mutual. I sincerely want them to be successful and for that matter, I hope that anyone who works hard and are nice to their dogs can enjoy success in this sport. Now if you are mean to your dog, or a nasty person in general, that doesn't mean I won't snicker if you happen to say, fall on your face while running a course. :)
Am I saying that I never have feelings of jealousy? No way! I often find myself thinking I wish I could be as good of a handler as ___, or I would love to be as consistent as ___, and I wish our table was as good as ___. :) I think those feelings are normal! But at the end of the day, I just want us to be as good of a team as we can possibly be at any point of our training.
Blah, blah, blah...I'm rambling now. :) I'm not sure that there's a point to this post other than the fact that ever since Peyton has started doing pretty well, I have seen a few glimmers of the not-so-nice side of competition. I've been so fortunate to have some wonderfully supportive friends who have encouraged me to keep trying even when it didn't look like we were ever going to make any progress. I just hope that some of them will continue to be supportive no matter how good - or how ugly - our runs might be.
I finally got around to uploading our last run from Perry. I don't think it's as bad as it felt at the time, but I'm pretty sure one of us must have been 1/2 asleep during this run...gee, who could that be?