I thought about calling this blog “Skin Cancer & Compression Socks”.
If you’ve followed my social media at all, you’ve probably seen that I literally ride in wide brimmed hats and long sleeves 100% of the time.
I do love a fashion statement.
I could easily play the part of a vampire in any production as white as my skin is.
There is only a 1″ band of skin on my wrist between my watch and gloves that gets any sun. One inch.
Yep, that’s where they found skin cancer. (Don’t worry it’s the benign kind they can usually cut out so the prognosis is good.) But for someone that avoids the sun at all cost it just seems like one more piece of bad luck these days.
“I don’t think it’s worth it.” I was on the phone with my financial adviser. I have significantly drained my retirement account this year to “follow my dream.” I was telling him that I don’t think all the money I spent this summer was worth it. What exactly did I get for all that money? A few photos?
I was definitely having buyer’s remorse.
FEI events are EXPENSIVE.
FEI events far away from home are especially expensive. Fuel, hotel rooms, stabling, shavings, grooms, heck even meals are expensive when you’re on the road.
And when the trailer blew a tire on the way there AND on the way back, there were new tires and equipment to change my own tires (because my roadside assistance membership proved to be worse than useless.)
I was definitely starting to feel like Eeyore.
So I was telling my finance guy that it just wasn’t worth it. He said, “You’re only saying that because it didn’t go well. If it had gone well you’d probably think it was a great investment.”
That’s a pretty remarkable comment from someone who is supposed to keep me from blowing all my hard earned (very hard earned) savings.
Occasionally I get a note from someone who says, “How do you do it?! How do you afford it?! I want to do what you’re doing!” And I always feel bad when I explain that I spent nearly 20 years working unbelievable 12-15 hour days nearly 7 days per week in order to have some money to take some time and ride. I didn’t get an opportunity to really focus on my riding until I was 42 years old. Now I’m 46.
Let me tell you. That is a less than ideal age to make the move up to the upper levels of eventing. Every Fearless Leader I’ve ever ridden with was competing at that level as a teenager.
Which means at this age they’ve had more than 20 years experience at the level. Me? I’m just dipping my toe in the water.
Is it too late?
The last 6 months have been the biggest physical, mental and emotional effort of my life. I rode 6 horses 6 days per week. It was unbearably hot for nearly the entire 6 months and after sweating out every bit of salt in my body on 6 horses I would go for a 5 mile run because “riding isn’t enough” for this sport.
You have to be so strong, and so fit, and so heat tolerant.
This is the fittest I’ve ever been in my life.
But I’m broken.
I also spend 6 hours a week with the physical therapist and the occupational therapist to keep my broken parts working as much as possible.
So when my most amazing horse showed up with an injury right before “the big one” and I fell off the youngster on the live stream. I thought, “this isn’t fun anymore.”
The BadEventer husband was going to buy me a new cross country watch and I told him not to. Because I think I just might quit.
And then I found out tonight I’m being burned in effigy on social media. Honestly, that used to be one of my worst fears. People that don’t know you or the sacrifices you make can be so brutal. And when total strangers decide you “aren’t worthy” it’s just one more nail in the coffin.
Yep. I suck at eventing. “BadEventer” was never a joke. I really started out as one of the worst eventers out there.
I started this blog because I took eventing much too seriously. And I was so ridiculously bad at it.
I couldn’t even get around at Novice back then.
I knew if I didn’t “chill out” about my goals that I would never survive. So I decided to put it out there and talk about how much I sucked at this sport that I so wanted to succeed at and just make fun of myself.
So when the keyboard warriors come after me about being bad at my sport………. even after I’ve stormed around a few 3 stars…….
I’m not only Bad Eventer.
I am THE Bad Eventer.
That’s not exactly news.