This I Believe

Alyssa - washoe valley, Nevada
Entered on December 3, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work

Dreams are my motivational power

When I think of the things I believe in, I think about my dreams. I believe that life is too short not to follow your dreams. I believe that it is very important to laugh and play and to not take life too seriously.

My dream is to be the best equestrian in show jumping. I want to be the best in my class and advance to Olympian status some day. Horses have been involved in my life since before I was born. I have set goals for myself since the first time I watched Grand Prix show jumping during the Olympics. In order to reach my goals, I make a lot of sacrifices. While all of my friends are going to parties and to the movies, I am riding my horses. My freshmen year of high school I wanted to run track, so I joined the track team. However, I quickly realized that I couldn’t do track and ride horses at the same time. Both sports were suffering because I was spreading myself too thin. It takes a lot of time, discipline, and practice to be good at just one of those sports. Even though I broke the school track record for high jump, I had to make the difficult decision to follow my dreams and pursue my show jumping career rather than high school track.

Show jumping isn’t the average sport. It’s much more mental than physical because no matter how in shape or buff you get, you have to have some sort of connection with your horse, remember your course, and predict every move your horse is going to make while showing. I spend over 10 hours a week trying to perfect my riding, but to me it’s worth every minute because it’s everything I believe in. Riding is unpredictable, over the top dramatic, and extremely exhausting. But even though you have to deal with all of that, you have to keep your cool, your horse’s cool (which mostly reacts to your cool) and perform to your utmost ability without showing any pain or remorse. One thing I never do is take winnings as the only thing that matters, because if I take winning too seriously I become stressed which, in turn , makes my performance lack. As my trainer always reminds me “Take life as it is and learn from your mistakes so you can be the best next time.” But, of course, the best part about showing is when you win, you get a smile one your face that never goes away.

I could go out with my friends, play school sports, party and lead a normal dramatic teenage life, but I choose my life with horses instead. My life and what will forever be my life, is show jumping. This is how committed I am to follow my dreams and live what I believe.