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Are We Winning Yet?

People always say- did you win? And they don't mean to be rude and they don't mean to downplay all the time and work and energy and sacrifice it takes to play this game but it hurts a little when people make this seem like winning is the only thing worthwhile.

I'll tell you- many of the races we attend, we will never win. Never. People have been in this game for generations. They've been crafting lines since before I was born. They've got knowledge and experience and sometimes money more than I'll ever be able to collect starting this late in life.

But, for us, that is not the point. I built this team from Tink up, by myself, out of nowhere and nothing. I changed my entire life set up to give this a go. I have house dogs, &, in some cases, dogs that were not cut out for other teams but fit with Tink and fit my lifestyle. And I work with what I've got & we work hard. We have fun. I ask advice, I listen. I watch other people at events, on the trail, their responses online. I learn and I attend the most competitive events we can possibly attain while not being out of our league.

So no, we didn't win. We're in 37th out of like 47. We are losing if that's how you want to think about it. But that's not how I think about it. I generally choose the more competitive race, knowing we will be far from the podium, versus the less competitive race where we might win. That's my personal choice. Striving amongst some of the best in the world, that's my choice. I fully respect people that make other choices. Clearly, I fully respect those that have achieved the top, amongst the best. We're probably not going to land there because I also choose to keep Hannah even though her top end speed was never 24mph+ and she's 6, missing a toe now and probably slowing down. I choose to keep Iggy who turned out to be the tiniest little peanut in the world and I'm a gigantor in comparison which is not ideal for being speedy. And so on and so on. My choices, my goals, my success - all personal. But still it's a little annoying when people ask if we won because they mean did you make the podium and the answer is generally no but we win in our own way.

Tink loves races even when she's not racing (she barks and flirts all day, rolls in snow when everyone else is shivering). Bolt runs for me and won't for anyone else, because he loves me to fucking death & wants me to be happy. I told E-Claire when she was 3 days old she was a Frex and I was lucky enough to make it come true (and good grief she is a BEAST at not even two years old). Hannah is a love and tries her fucking heart out every single time (and always drinks water and always eats quickly and always poops before running). Iggy is the tiniest noodle, the weirdest little lady but she pulls like a dog double her size (but insists on sleeping in the hotel room- she is a princess). Cha Cha barks at everything at every training run but last weekend she passed every. Single. Distraction- without even a second glance, my big cuddle moose- I'm so fucking proud of her. Because Clippy is learning the ropes and already I can tell he's going to be incredible (and he's the easiest going little man & so fun to train tricks or whatever). And because I'm so lucky to have found a mentor who still supports this addiction and says, yeah, you're ready to run a full 6- here's a spare (and he matches to boot).

We'll be the biggest losers around. We will be happy as fucking shit about it. (Photo credit Marie Parent Photography)

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