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Pick the path that takes you to your dreams

In life we decide

I find myself at the back gate at Spruce Meadows indoors in the fall, and I see a girl crying. Her coach is consoling her some, and I overhear that the girl has had a bad round. I hear the poor girl going on about all the reasons why she is a terrible rider and starting to go down the road of negativity we have all ventured down a time or two, and it occurs to me that I’m going to say something I’ve learned to this young person!

So I wander over – I know the trainer a little so I budged in, as I tend to do – and spout my advice that I’m going to relay to you now.

When you have a bad day, bad round or difficult time, you choose. You choose not to go down the road in front of you. The easy road is negativity. Nobody doesn’t feel like going down that road. Nobody doesn’t get some sympathy or energy from friends when they do go down that path.

You choose, every time your mind wanders in a negative direction, you decidedly stop yourself from going ‘there’ and then when you go back to the barn or encounter some person that asks how your day is you LIE! You say “Fine”, you say “Oh good thanks”, you say “By god I’m figuring it out” – but you do not go in for the pity party. Why? Because it doesn’t get you anywhere good.

I’m not saying it’s easy, and I’m not saying it’s possible every time, but you do get better as you practice and you don’t ride the roller coaster of emotions. In the end no matter what path you take, you will end up one of two places: down and depressed – which, although it makes you feel something in the moment, it does not serve you in life or sport – or you end up looking up and ready to try again.

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