For the past few years, I put everything into making the 2018 WEG para-dressage team. All my time, hard work, bank account – all to the detriment of other aspects of my life. I was desperate for a “yes”. After the viral fall at Wellington in January, let’s just say, it took even more. Both my horse and I had to overcome physical and mental hurdles to bring our presentation back up to an international level. We weren’t quite ready at Selection Trials, but we left it all in the arena. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough, and the answer was “no”.
Of course, I remain supportive of my friends who also left it all in the arena and got a “Yes”. It was both an emotionally and physically exhausting year; I found myself falling into the day-to-day of putting one foot in front of the other. At other times in my life, I’d pull myself out of a hole (whether of my own making or one created by circumstance) by saying “Yes” – to virtually everything. These “Yes’s” were responsible for a college education far away from home, for three amazing daughters, for the creation of a business which ultimately allowed me another “Yes” to a flight to Germany to find my dream horse, Quaterjack.
When faced with “Nos”, my best bet is to find the “yeses” in my universe. So, when my amazing friend, Marty Biggs, opened her Aiken home to me while she summered in Pennsylvania, I said “Yes” and cut out almost 20 hours of horse commute per week. When my trainer, Melanie Mitchell, asked if I was ready to move up the able-bodied levels in dressage, I said “Yes” and began training with both my Arabian and Quaterjack. When I felt as if my life was too quiet, I said “Yes” to all invitations, and found someone who makes me laugh, who rides and loves horses as much as I, and who shares my love for books and old movies– a rare combination.
Saying “yes” is particularly tough when you don’t know what your next step should be. Say “yes” anyway. The adage is true. Turn the page to the next chapter. Re-reading the same story over and over will not only become boring for you but for everyone around you. Change your story. Say “yes”. Life is about the things you chose to do, not those you discarded. Say “yes”.
I’ll be in the stands at WEG cheering on my friends as they live my dream in real life. Paralympics is only 2 years away. Will I be working toward them? Yes.
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