Monday, August 18, 2008

Inspiration and Perspiration

There is probably some quote about inspiration and perspiration, but I can't remember how it goes- however I do know that you can have one without the other, but ususally you need both to succeed.
This weekend at the horse show was an excellent example of that.
As we now know Michael Phelps has won eight gold medals in Swimming- the most of any athlete ever. My friend Karen is a dedicated "Phelpshead"- she's been following his career for years! Well we are at our horse show, and it is blazing hot- 103 in the shade. So hot that your eyeballs are wanting to melt out of your head kind of hot. And we are scurrying around trying to set up for the show. We are sweating buckets, and we are drinking gallons of water, and we are reviewing the classes,and walking the arena, and discussing endlessly the patterns we are to run. We get to bed at midnight- right after we watch Phelps 7th win. Karen starts the show sitting in fourth place in the overall standing. There are three shows to go, 30 horses in the class- and she comes in fourth. The next day- thirty horses, she comes in third! Now she is in FIRST place in the overall standings. The last day- she's alone, memorizing the pattern- she has the look of eagles in her eyes. She enters the arena and nails the pattern. She rides her horse exactly as she planned! Her go was the best one she's ever done!
Now we don't know yet if she kept first place- we won't know that until next week sometime, but she did go from forth to first overall in two days! A woman that just began riding and showing two years ago- with no regular trainer! I asked her later what she was thinking and she saidshe was thinking about Phelps- about how he went from seventh place to first by .01 of a second, and how he must have focused on the win. She tried to do that too.
So you tell me- is it perspiration- all the hard work and hours of riding, or is it inspiration- the image of a great win- that makes us great? I like to think that it is both.

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