I feel like my brain is working in hyperdrive...if that makes any sense! If you've visited my page before, hopefully you'll notice some new designs on my little 'ol blog. It's definitely a work in progress but it's fun to work with (and much harder than I thought). But hey, no one said blogging would be easy.
I came across the term hybrid vigor while stumbling on the web, and it kept on swimming in my mind all day yesterday. This is one definition I found for it:
Heterosis: (genetics) the tendency of a crossbred organism to have qualities superior to those of either parent.Or pertaining to dogs it means:
This is a term which corresponds to the theory that dogs will be stronger if they are mixed with other breeds to prevent inherited diseases and health problems. In fact, about 75% dogs in shelters are mixed breeds.So why did it stick out to me so much?
Now technically, if a Labrador Retriever and a Cocker Spaniel crossbreed, the offspring are not considered a real hybrid (same species). If the Labrador bred with a wolf, that offspring would be considered a hybrid. It all goes back to our basic biology from high school...to our Class, Family, Genus, etc. divisions. Yet, I know some of us have heard that if two different breeds mate, the offspring will in essence get the best of both worlds. How true is that? Is a purebred dog genetically "better off" than a mutt, or the other way around? If a breeder knows what they're doing, then I believe the risk of having those breed specific health risks are significantly lowered...but then there are those (pardon my language) dumb ass backyard breeders that do the opposite! Instead of helping the breed they hurt the breed.
Anyways! I'm not trying to get all scientific on this subject and am DEFINITELY not going to try right now (way too much research to do). But this got me thinking on a more personal level.
When I thought of the term hybrid vigor, I thought of the many furry faces at the shelter. And then I thought of myself, and where I am today. I'm still learning who I am and where I am in my life today.
My hybrid self refers to all the qualities I am trying to improve in myself to be the superior and best version of me. Within this past year, I've learned a lot about my good and my bad. And like this blog, it's a work in progress. Here's one thing I've learned about myself in this past year:
I'm a lot stronger than I thought.
- I've been thrown into situations at the shelter, things I thought would make me bawl and break down...but surprisingly I have more of a backbone than I ever imagined. Makes me believe I can handle almost anything in the Veterinary world. Emergency heart surgery? BRING IT ON! (hehe)
- I have also found my strength through Crossfit; it has done WONDERS for my health and self esteem. Never in a million years did I think that I could lift a 70 lb bar like it's no one's business. Or run two miles without feeling like I'm about to keel over. It's made me more confident in my abilities as an individual and what I am capable of. This has spilled over to other areas of my life, including work, personal life, school, and my family. I'm definitely not as hesitant as I used to be around big dogs or with unpredictable cats. And I'm definitely not saying that I could take on a huge dog, because clearly we all know who would win. What I'm saying is I have more courage than before in encountering a new dog that looks "mean" when in reality now, I just know they're scared. If they see I have no fear and I'm not trying to harm them, I can break that barrier and be able to actually help the animal. Before Crossfit, I would've thought twice about entering that kennel because I wasn't so confident in myself and didn't know how strong I could be (emotionally and physically).
It's been a year of ups and downs, with many more experiences and stories to come. Life is always a work in progress, and as long as you're willing to work for it...it'll always be moving forward.