So it’s been over a week now since the announcement of the Team and a lot has happened since then. I know it is in these times that people want to hear from me the most and it takes a bit to want to get to that point. First off, thank you all for your amazing words of support! It goes without saying that I was very disappointed about not being named to the Team. I know that I come across very strong and that I deal with disappointment and setbacks well, but I will admit that I had a number of very good hard cries. I felt exhausted, emotionally wasted and very alone after the announcement. I have put so much dedication, passion, time and sacrifice into this goal and for the first time I felt defeated. The selection process will always be a heartbreaking thing — there will always be people that get to experience the elation and confirmation of their extreme efforts and others that are just simply left shattered. I think what makes me the person who “deals” with setback and disappointment well is because I know that tomorrow is not promised and that I can choose how I want to feel and live my life. I did not enjoy that deflated thing that I was feeling at all! I knew that I needed to snap out of it as quickly as possible, not only for my own sanity, but also because as I am still an alternate, I need to stay ready to compete. This is the most challenging thing for an alternate — to stay just as prepared for the Games as if you were named. Not an easy task. Fortunately, I was giving Arthur a second day off after Barbury so I knew I could have one day for Allison to get my booty back in gear. Despite my sorry state of feeling “alone”, I knew this couldn’t be further from the truth as I do have tremendous friends and family that are always there for me. And because of my friends, I had a just the day I needed! First stop was Wimbledon with Samantha Lendl! It’s always been a dream of mine to go to Wimbledon so it was pretty amazing to watch 3 incredible matches Andy Murray on Court 1 and then David Ferrer and finally Serena Williams on Center Court. Samantha’s husband coaches Andy Murray, so we had lunch in the players restaurant/lounge area. I really enjoy spending time with Samantha, she really has her head on her shoulders and is a great person to be round especially in the state I was in. No BS and no fluff, just a good friend to be around. That whole day was pretty amazing for me, thank you Samantha!!!!! I then headed further into London to spend the night with some of my very best friends, Samantha and Zolly Lehel. They live walking distance to Greenwich park (through the foot tunnel under the river), so after an awesome Thai dinner where we ate ENTIRELY too much and laughed just as much, we walked it off by checking out the Olympic Equestrian site. It is a really awesome setup. I soooo wish I was going! Fortunately for me, I have a great place to stay during the Olympics, now I just need tickets, does anyone have any extras for me to buy?!?!?
Wednesday morning sent me back to my Cottswold reality. It took a very long time to drive out of London and back to the farm, which gave me a long time to think about what next, both in the short term and in the long run.
In the short term I have to stay prepared for the Olympics and take advantage of every opportunity here. Burghley is the obvious plan B for most alternates, however, knowing that Burghley is the Mother God of all four stars, it seems really odd to think about it as a back up plan!!! We still have a lot of intense training and mandatory gallops left in the lead up to the Olympics, so I will just need to make sure Arthur is still in top form and health at the end of this month prior to really committing ourselves to the Mother God. As of now I am setting the wheels in motion for Burghley, but I am staying focused on the Olympics. Arthur is in terrific form right now. His weight looks great (thank you Buckeye for going through such extreme measures to make sure Arthur’s diet stayed consistent), we have had excellent lessons and he is super fit. Lauren Hough comes every week and she has been great to work with. This week she rode Arthur a bit for me and that was great to watch someone else on him. I wish I had video to share, sorry! I also took advantage of Boyd’s dressage instructor, Michael Barisone. I really enjoyed working with him, he certainly doesn’t seem like a fluffy dressage dude!! Yesterday we rode the Olympic test for Linda Zang and she gave some great feedback. Arthur was very good for the test, definitely in medal contention !!! I will try to post the video later if I can figure out how to do it! Today we galloped, a light day tomorrow, and then the same thing all over again next week.
For the long run plan, WEG 2014 is the next big thing to be thinking about. Arthur should be great for that as well and I will work to keep nailing down some big international results on him, first stop Hartpury CIC 3* and then Burghley CCI 4*. One of my very biggest long run (really short term) needs is horses! I have spent a bunch of time here looking at horses, everything from green to going. I’ve been up to Yorkshire, over to Ireland with Phillip (had a hilarious day looking at horses with Carol Gee… deadly), and am planning a trip to France with Sinead next week. Hopefully I can get it all sorted out!
For now I am still hanging in there!!!!!