Monday, July 13, 2015

Embracing Failure

Last night, for the second time this year, I fell off. I go through periods of riding where I don't fall off, and then I fall off multiple times over a short span. However, for the first time in a long time, I stood up, brushed myself off, yelled, "Candy, you little sh*t, WOAH.", and laughed.

I'm type A; I don't like to fail. I don't like second place ribbons, I don't like B+'s, I don't expect anything less than perfect, but I am a very average human being. I get B's, I get third place ribbons, and I mess up a lot. And all of that is absolutely okay.

Riding is a very humbling sport. You work hard physically, it's draining emotionally, and at times, dangerous, but it's the highs of the sport: the blues, the Joker fence, the perfect change that drive me to do better and push through the lows.

But I laughed last night. I laughed because my 21 year old, sometimes 3 legged lame, horse managed to finally buck me off after weeks of trying. The rehab process isn't perfect, and I was driving myself insane trying to be perfect: wrap exactly every 12 hours, increase his workload exactly 5 minutes every week, groom him spotless daily, handwalk or ride 7 days a week. I was crying in my car after barn trips and after work because I had this image in my head that I could work two jobs: be a perfect research assistant, a perfect technician, a perfect girlfriend, and a perfect horse owner all while maintaining a spotless apartment, car, horse, and perfect body.

The falls and the failure remind you that it's okay to mess up: it's okay to learn from a failure, or chalk it up to a fluke and move on with your life. I needed that fall. It's like someone hit the reset button. I fell, and today, I will go to the barn, attempt to squeeze in a grooming session and 45 minute handwalk in the hour between job 1 and job 2. I will try to run after work tonight at 10 pm, but if I am too tired- that's okay.

Success is what drives us to continue in this expensive, challenging sport, but it's the failures that shape us into the riders we are, and sometimes, we just need a senior citizen to dump us on our ass so we remember why we ride and why we fell in love with the sport so many years ago.

-K & C

1 comment :

  1. aww glad you're ok!! but yea i totally love this post - esp that last paragraph!