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Monday, July 13, 2015


What goes through your mind when you fail at something that you think you should be able to do?
When I first met Shyla, she'd hang her head as if she was about to get in big trouble. It was part of her lack of confidence. Now, after years of our encouragement, she's happy to try again.

Yesterday, we stopped to do this trick several times during our mountain bike ride. We are doing an online training program by Susan Garrett, and one of the themes is "impulse control". I do believe that balancing a treat on your nose until you are given the cue to toss it into the air takes a lot of impulse control!
Got it!
I try to take Shyla as my role model in learning to get over fears. I've mentioned before that I came to mountain biking after many years of road biking. Given the fragile state of my spine, my doctors would never have approved of it. So I didn't ask permission. I stopped asking permission a long time ago. Otherwise, I'd have a very limited life.

I started out as an incredibly tentative mountain biker, and I've become more adept at navigating technically tough trails with each year. However, I have certain "bugaboos" on nearby trails (sections of trail that scare me so much that I sometimes get off my bike and walk). Although I've ridden them in the past, my fear of them comes back when I'm not feeling 100%. Then, the fear often lingers after I'm back to full strength.

When I'm trying to overcome these transient fears, I try to think of Shyla, and all the courage she's mustered to become a well-adjusted dog. It's a strategy that helps my courage immensely. More often than not, I discover that I actually CAN easily ride a section of trail that used to scare me to death.

Thank you, Shyla!


  1. She is an inspiration. Goose was always so good at balancing a treat on his nose and waiting for the OK to flip it. Even if that treat was pizza.

  2. Shyla, you're an inspiration to all of us! I'm afraid to stand on the reformer in my Pilates class. While I'm less afraid than I was a couple of years ago, I still get spooked from time to time and see myself splatting on the hardwood floor. Shyla, I'm going to think of you next time I'm in one of those scary positions!

  3. It is just amazing how much you two were meant for each other:)

  4. Hmmm maybe I should use both of you to encourage me to get over my fear of car rides. Beautiful shots by the way.

    Aroo to you,

  5. I always thrill at your photos! And your insight into being a teacher while also a student is what makes for a great scholar! Lovely post today!!

  6. Shyla sure is a great inspiration. Love the series of pictures.

  7. I think I could learn a thing or two from Shyla, too! Not asking for permission is a great first step - though I still do this in some areas of my life and need to stop.

  8. Do I see treaties flyin' through the air??! Hell yeah!!! Oh, off subject....
    Hey Shyla, you are one pawsome chick! You knows this, and I thinks the next time Ma gets close to my ears with the clippers, I will thinks of you, and be brave! ☺
    Oh, and I never ask permission...hehehe
    Though, I thinks Ma could use some of that advice!
    Ruby ♥

  9. You are the only blogger I know can provide incredible pictures, training and life lessons in one post

  10. Ziggy has much to learn from beautiful Shyla!!

    Anne and Ziggy

  11. See.....we dogs are fantastic teachers. Now, how long can you balance a treat on your nose....

    SHE has a fear of heights....but did make it up the Sydney Harbour Bridge...

  12. Treats all round, superb timing on every photo.

  13. You are an inspiration to all of us, Shyla! We love the photos ♥

  14. they can be the bestest life coaches, I agree... and we can learn a lot, efurry day ... and maybe once even me can learn to catch a treat like Shyla :o)
    easy rider

  15. You two are learning from each other, and that's perfect.

  16. Those are amazing photos of the mid-air yum!

  17. You are a perfect pair!
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  18. You both are an inspiration!!
    stella rose

  19. That is a very good trick! A great inspirational post!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  20. What a great post! You and Shyla have both come so very far!!

    I have heard so many good thing about Susan Garrett, keep us updated on her online class, I think Arty may benefit by taking it!

  21. what a wonderful transformation in Shyla! How far she has come :)
    And guess what! I am also doing the Susan Garrett course! But I got behind right at the beginning, and am not going to skip to catch up, so I think I will be like the kid in class who never had homework done on time...oh well, as long as Piper and I keep going, I have hopes we will both benefit from the class :)


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