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I'm no quitter

So I recently read this article about Tiffany Foster:

I was struck even by the title – ‘My back was broken, my determination, Never’. Immediately I thought, Wow! that’s dedication, that’s pretty amazing, that’s maybe even a little bit crazy.

Is it possible that she never even had the thought “Oh, this isn’t meant for me” or “Maybe I should do something else?” Especially after such an incident?

And then I read another article about her first Olympic experience

That would have been so disappointing to be sure, and I remember seeing some of the interviews at the time and she was understandably so very upset. And you might remember she didn’t have a stellar ‘Masters’ tournament that year either… and yet after all that, she didn’t quit either.

As you may know, I can be a bit of a “giver-upper” in my mind, at least. I have written a lot about talking myself out of giving up on numerous occasions, about all kinds of things. My mom says in those situations it’s as though I take bad things happening in my life as signs to quit what I’m doing or do something different with my life.

And then today I fell off at home while schooling a simple exercise. Nothing tragic, just a miscommunication. Right away I wanted to go down that path of “Woe is me; I suck; I’m not meant to do this; Tiffany and all those other non-giving up types are so much better than me.”

Again my mother to the rescue, she said a few key things:

  1. Don’t let this discourage you. It reminded me of the quote from book ‘The Little Book of Talents’, “Grit is like a muscle, it’s developed over time.”

  2. There was so much good today don’t let the little blip be the biggest part.

So afterwards I find myself thinking, “Should I not be riding? Is this not meant for me? God, don’t I deserve this?!?”

And the answer came to me – No, I don’t. I don’t deserve anything, especially something as amazing as not only my horses but this sport altogether, if I’m willing to just give up all the time! No you don’t just simply deserve it, so step up and act like it and make it happen.

The phrase “Fake it till you make it” comes to mind.

It’s a great thought to start with, but then the ball gets rolling: how am I going to ride well enough to put it all back together?

The answer is in two parts.

  1. Use the skills you have, that’s all you can do while riding. I know when I’m not on a good enough canter, and I know when I’m riding weak, so watch for these, and recognize them. At least just fake it like you’re doing it.

  2. You don’t have to be perfect you just have to try.

This was like a light bulb moment for me (God help me remember this the next time!) Everybody that is meant to do something doesn’t get it easy all the time, and that because other people around me seem like they don’t struggle doesn’t mean that my struggle means I should quit. I’m on my own path and I’m learning my own things and apparently Grit is my current lesson.

Bring it on… gently I hope!

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