Rider Down | A Lesson In Disappointment, Failure and Crossing That Finishing Line
We interrupt this regularly scheduled program to bring you this important message. Yes, I know I promised another installment of my review of The Charge, but this valuable lesson came to mind yesterday and I just have to share it with you.
If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know my daughter is an avid equestrian. We have been spending a week up at the mountains with an incredible group of riders for two big events in our area. These are called “Three Day Events,” aptly named because each event is three days with each day being a particular part of the event: Dressage one day, Stadium Jumping the next, and Cross Country the last day.
Most of you are probably familiar with Dressage and Stadium jumping, but not everyone has heard of Cross Country where the horse and rider are sent out on a course (the horse never having ridden it before) and they have to jump solid obstacles that are at a certain height for the rider’s level. They jump logs, tables, ditches, run through water, and other mystery obstacles that are pretty scary looking if you ask me.
This is one of the more dangerous events for both horse and rider and there is always an ambulance on site. The eventers are incredible in my eyes, going out on the course with tremendous skill and courage. But very often you will hear “Rider Down” or #Such and Such Down. It is one of the worst feelings as a parent to hear your child’s number be the one called.
Yesterday I watched a girl go through the course (the part I could see) and she was doing some very challenging stuff. She lost a stirrup about half way through yet was able to stay on all the way to the end going over obstacles that were over 3 feet in height. She jumped the very last jump and just couldn’t hold on any longer. She fell off the side where she had lost her stirrup and landed on the ground in a cloud of dirt as the horse dragged her a little until finally she collapsed on the ground as the horse ran off.
It was a very terrifying moment and we all ran over to the rider to see if she was okay as others ran after the horse. It is one of those moments you hold your breath until you see if the person is moving. She was obviously shaken up but she was okay – probably a few bumps and bruises will be her main issue. She was so sad and cried at how cruel it was to have a clean ride so close in her grasp only to lose it right before the finish line.
Personally I felt so sad for her, so I can only imagine how she felt. But then she said “there is always next week…” meaning she will get through the competition next weekend. I had to think how incredible that was, to have such a scary event happen, to fall and fail and then have her attitude be one of …next time I’m going to succeed… What an inspiring message!
That made me think of all of us who have struggled through the ups and downs, the failures, the falls, the devastating incompletes – where we thought we were so close to victory in our business only to have something go wrong.
But one thing is for sure: You will never win, if you don’t get back up and try again.
Being in business for yourself is hard. You have to navigate the course blind very often, you have challenges and scary hurdles you must get over. There are times you want to give up. Times you feel like you can’t do it, that maybe you don’t have what it takes. And then, one day after consistently learning, growing, getting back up, you find yourself crossing the finish line. And oh….victory is so sweet.
Would it be as sweet without all that hardship? I don’t think so.
So embrace your falls, be grateful for your resilience and if you have that moment of “rider down,” get back up and ride again.
“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.”
Bossy Redhead OUT!
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