This is a great read by a seven your old kid, really you have to check it out.  In it he says “I believe everyone is weird in their own way.” I am about to prove it. For a light-hearted change of pace I thought I would tell you a lot of weird (and maybe some not so weird) things about myself.

I like to think of myself as gracious and approachable to everyone.  I am quick to forgive and pretty much trust everyone I meet (much to John’s great chagrin). I follow Zig Zigler’s philosophy that it is better to trust everyone and be disappointed every now and again than to live your life in suspicion of everyone you meet.  I love to laugh out loud and to make people laugh out loud, I like spicy food and although I am a bit of a tough nut, who doesn’t do well with people that cry, I am a true romantic at heart.

My favorite movies include happy romantics like: As Good As It Gets, Pride & Prejudice, Shadowlands, Regarding Henry and  The American President but I also love the Shawshank Redemption, the Thomas Crowne Affair and Rainman.  I am not a fan of sci-fi (I think John and I are two of the only people on the planet that have never seen a single Star Wars or Star Trek movie) although I did enjoy ET but really, who didn’t?  I am not much of a reader, but always have a book on the go (right now it is “Winning Every Day” by Lou Holtz).  Although I don’t get much time for TV,  I was hooked on the original CSI (until Sara and Grissom left) and love to watch NFL football. I go to church any weekend I may be at home and love to cook (although I am a vegan).

All I need to add now is I love long walks on the beach and candle-lit dinners and I would have written the perfect singles ad. No, I am not single. John and I have been together for 12 years.

John and I vacationing in England.

John and I vacationing in England.

I met him while showing dogs, he was an obedience judge. It took me a year or two of chasing to convince him I was the best thing that ever happened to him:).  I used to have quite the off-colour-potty-mouth but saw the unsavoriness for myself after listening to two other agility instructors swearing like truckers at a dinner two years ago. Although I try not judge others for their choice of diction,  I chose to change mine, and did so overnight.

I can be short-tempered, but rarely with my dogs, funny how that happens. I have all the patience in the world for those that are learning, and far less for those that blame their dog for their lack of success. I don’t drink soft drinks and haven’t had any form of caffeine in over 20 years. I can be a pretty wound up personality, so to add caffeine into the mix was never a pretty sight (water, herbal tea and beer are pretty much the only fluids I drink). I am a bit of a health nut and try not to eat white (bread, flour, sugar)  or anything with artificial sweeteners.

I avoid using a microwave or eating pre-packaged frozen foods whenever I can. I have a sweet tooth but can not have anything with chocolate in it. I love to work out, however lately I have fallen out of rhythm with my morning ritual. I am very much a morning person, 5-5:30 am is my time of the day.

I sometimes get myself in trouble by speaking my mind. Occasionally the filter between my brain and my mouth doesn’t work as well as it should and I feel the need to speak out, especially if I think there has been an injustice done to someone. If I am intolerant of anything, it would be that of dishonesty, prejudice and hypocrisy.

I love to observe people, to see if they treat a waitress or chamber maid with the same respect they treat me or someone they think is “worthy of their respect.” I am a person of few close friends rather than many causal ones. Although I love to entertain, and we often have people stay at our home for camps, reunions, you name it,  John and I are private people that rarely go out anywhere when we get time at home.

My favourite colour is green, but I rarely wear it and all my life I have had an obsession with the number 35. I have no idea when it started but it has been with me since I was a kid. I am not a particular superstitious person, but that number follows me everywhere. I wore number 35 in hockey when I was young and later in basketball as well. I paid $135,000 for the first house I ever bought. I started dating John when I was 35 and won my first USDAA GP Nationals when I was 35. I could go on, but then I fear you would run like frightened children the next time you saw me.

I have an eclectic taste in music. My ipod includes everything from HipHop to Classical to Christian Rock to Country to Rap and most everything in between. I am obsessive about music. If I like a song I can put it on repeat and let the same song play for 8 or 9 hours and I have done so on more than one occasion.

I constantly remind myself of something Greg Louganis told me years ago,”Where ever I go, I want to leave that place a bit better than before I came”. I take this to heart, even when we stop at a truck stop to refuel the RV, so while I am picking up after my dogs, I will pick up one extra piece of trash. I love puppies, nothing makes me laugh out loud as much as a puppy. I don’t understand how people can tell me they just ‘tolerate’ their puppies and can’t wait until they grow up.  I have a tatoo, it is of Winnie-the-Pooh giving Piglet a hug. I will leave it up to your imagination to figure out exactly where that tatoo is located.

I am dyslexic, although it wasn’t diagnosed until I was in university. I also have two brothers who are as well. As a kid I was a voracious reader. I would go through a Nancy Drew novel every week. The Mystery of the 99 Steps was the bomb man!  When I was 10 or 11 years old I started to really struggle with my reading. Within a few minutes of starting to read a line, each word would grow on the page, right before my eyes, so that one word filled the entire page. It would be like a switch would go off in my head and the words would start growing. It made it difficult to read, as I had to do it one word at a time, waiting for that word to get smaller before I could see the next one. My mother took me to a ophthalmologist and I will never forget that day. He turned on the lights, when he was finished his exam, brought his chair very close, looked me in the eye, put his hand on my shoulder and said “Susan, what would you say if I told you there was nothing wrong with your EYES?” The implication was that perhaps I was not right in the head and I was just making up the whole “growing words story”. That was the last time I spoke about my reading issue until I was in university when I saw an episode of  60 minutes (or one of those news-magazine shows) on dyslexia. There they talked about laying a coloured film  over what you were reading to stop the words from growing.  For me the colour that worked best was yellow. For the rest of my university days every book I read, I did with a yellow film over it. When I graduated I swore I would never read another book and I never did until Greg Louganis asked me to read his autobiography about ten years ago. That is what started me reading again, funny enough, the words now rarely

Christmas dinner at the Garrett household, circa 1970's. (I think I took the picture).

Christmas dinner at the Garrett household, circa 1970's. (I think I took the picture).

grow. Rather than reading,  I was always good at observing people and mimicking what they did. I am the 7th child in my family (I have one brother and one sister that are younger). My brother Brent, who is four years older than I, is mentally handicapped as a result of a childhood accident. He is the next oldest to me in my family.  When he was eight years old,  my brothers took him onto the boulevard in the front of our house to teach him to ride a two-wheeler bike. I was the youngest at the time and don’t really remember much of this story but have heard my brother repeat it many times since.  After a hour or so of trying to teach Brent to ride the bike they gave up and were heading back to the house when I piped up that I wanted a turn. They all laughed at me and told me I was too little. I would not accept that and within minutes I was riding that bike.

When I was eight years old,  my brother Steve (the next oldest to Brent) was 13 and fell and broke his right arm on the last day of school. He was in a cast all summer and had to try and write with his left hand. He was terrible at it and I remember thinking I could do better. So I started to practice, you know, just in case I broke my arm:). I would write with my left hand so much I became pretty good at it. Then I saw comedian Jonathan Winters on the Johnny Carson show writing two different thoughts one with each hand at the same time. I had a new challenge but alas, I could never conquer that one.

I have always loved sports and played in the Ontario Winter Games three times and a teenager. When I play sports I mixed up my hand choices as I played. I shot hockey left handed but golfed right handed. I throw a baseball with my right hand but kick a soccer ball with my left foot.

Even though neither one of my parents had more than a high school diploma, my mother insisted that each of us go to university. However with 9 of us, we had to finance it ourselves. I went away to school and paid my own way through four years, by milking cows and not living beyond my means. I just love cows, they really crack me up. I was determined back then, that cows were going to be a part of my livelihood. However a firmer hand changed the course of my life’s passion as I developed a violent allergy to cows.

I dabbled in horses (showed up to Medium 1 Dressage) before I turned back to dogs (I used to help my sister in the conformation ring as a kid). I am absent-minded to a fault, if that is possible, John compares my memory to a fart in a colander. One of my greatest attributes is my ability to visualize things. I can put myself anywhere, even places I have never been, especially if I can see pictures of that place. Hence, I have no problem visualizing runs before I run them. However I absolutely can not visualize things as you describe them to me with spoken word alone,  but strangely enough, can do it if you make hand gestures or motion a line on the palm of your hand to demonstrate what you mean. So if you are on the phone describing an agility run to me, telling me what obstacles were where—just know I will be somewhere else mindlessly agreeing with you until you are finished, as I can not imagine spoke descriptions, no matter how hard I try. Strange eh?

I have a long list of mentors; those I know personally, those I have met only once and some that I have never met. Perhaps that will be another blog posting.

There you have it.  I have no idea why I wrote it, but I know there is a reason somewhere, perhaps one of you has some weird psych paper that is due next week.

Today I am grateful for potpourri of experiences that have uniquely allowed me to become me.