I'm back on the east coast and I am forced to slow down and take a deep breath.
It's a little nerve racking having so much free time but there is something peaceful about Middleburg, Virginia that eases me. Walking down to the ring today was stunning and made me step back and reflect. I have to thank my horses for everywhere they have taken me, the things they have taught me, and the stress they have caused me to mold me into the person I am today.
The horses throughout my life have done more for me than most know. Someday I will write an autobiography that will probably shock most, and maybe inspire a few.
The amount of travel that has happened since the first time I went to compete "away" from home at the DeBroke Championships in Jacksonhole Wyoming with my first trainer Kim Scheid, to now being selected as a Pan American Games alternant and competing at Great Meadow next weekend........well it's probably close to a million miles.
It's easy to get drug down in the drudges of your path and feel like there is never going to be any hope of wearing the beloved pink coat, but how many people can say they have been afforded this opportunity. We who vie for medals, Hermes jackets, and longing to hear the National Anthem as you watch your flag creep atop of the world. The world that you've worked so hard to build, and in one instant your world could come crashing down, but the strong (determined and crazy) prevail.
The last few months have created so many emotions, most would seek counseling for bipolar disorder and the feelings are enough to drive anyone off the edge. But as I spend this time at High Acre with the black stallion, I can't help but reflect on how incredibly blessed I am to not only be chasing my dreams, but to be allowed to have these dreams.
I hope that I thank the people who help me enough for all they do to make my dreams a reality, because it wouldn't be possible without them.
It's been a long journey and exhausting effort to be here. Some of the path has been fantastic, some hectic and some disappointing, most importantly educational. I've flown back across the country 6 times in the last few months. The effort from my village has been huge.
MacKenna Shea, Heather Morris and Niki Clarke have had their hands full with riding and teaching everyone at home. The effort comes from everyone. My husband, kids, my close friends and my mom are the glue that is keeping me all together. This impact of being gone affects our entire team. I have to say, my team has been instrumental to my success and none of this would be possible without them.
Along this journey it is easy to get pulled on by people who want to bring you down or make you feel like your goals are not possible. It's easy to let the people get to you who make your unrealistic expectations nearly seem impossible. Your perspective gets blurry and you become someone you are not. But the random phone call, email, text message, package in the mail makes me not forget about all of the people routing for me.
They say that the human brain can turn a thought and belief into reality. I feel like the positive people in my life have been what has gotten me this far. The people who have believed in me when the odds were stacked against me.
When I was growing up dreaming of what it would be like to ride for Team USA, it never occurred to me that it wasn't possible. I think if I knew then what I know now, I might have had a different opinion. Nevertheless, I'm enjoying every moment and I have big dreams and goals. I want to win a lot of big things and yes I keep saying when I feel like the road is getting really hard, LUCKY ME to be doing what I love and what has saved me so many times from a path that wasn't necessarily going to be the right path. LUCKY ME to have the support system I have, my kids, my husband, my family, NLE, my friends, and everyone who continues to send me the encouragement when I need it most. LUCKY ME to have these wonderful horses in my life. LUCKY ME is what we all should be saying when we think our lives are hard and really they are just a bump in the road in comparison to some. Make yourself say LUCKY ME......and then reflect why, you will surprise yourself just how lucky you are.