Friday, September 13, 2013

Life as an Also Ran

So as I stood staring at the mammogram machine in my paper vest I began to wonder about some things.

(Step forward, lift your chin . . . )

Mostly I wondered why they bother with the stupid paper vest. Seriously, what does it do? It doesn’t keep you covered, it sure as heck doesn’t keep you warm, and as soon as you take one side off to feed the machine the other side falls to the floor.

(Hold you breath, don’t breathe . . . )

They only come in ‘one size fits none’, and since you have to remove your deodorant for the boob eating x-ray plate all of your nervous perspiration is there for the world to see.

(Breathe, step back . . . )

I started to wonder if Beezie Madden or Karen O’Connor’s paper vests fail as miserably as mine. Does Becky Holder have a bead of sweat running down her armpit while she waits for the whir of the guillotine machine?

(You moved, we’ll have to reshoot that one . . . )

And then a short time later as I sat on the stupid paper sheet with the stupid paper drape across my lap and my stupid paper vest falling off my shoulders, staring at the miserable steel holders that have.the.nerve to call themselves stirrups, I continued to wonder.

(Scooch forward . . . )

Does Boyd Martin have to wear a stupid paper sheet to turn his head and cough? Does William Fox Pitt feel the need to make nervous chatter while waiting for

(Cold hand, sorry . . . )

And I thought to myself  “well, it doesn’t get much less glamorous than this.” But, of course, it did get less glamorous. Much less glamorous.

(Little pressure here . . . )

And like my stupid, useless paper vest I felt like the least glamorous thing on the planet. THAT, for some strange reason, is when I came to the realization that I am officially an ‘also ran’. Not the one watching the scoreboard to find out which tier of the platform I’ll be standing on. Not the one smiling for the camera with my beaming support crew all around me. And most definitely not the one planning my Fall thinking “another awards banquet, how utterly droll”.

Being an ‘also ran’ means your glory is measured by subtler methods, like the smile you wear back at the trailer because you just jumped 8 of the biggest tables you’ve ever seen; or the personal satisfaction that you just gave every drop trying to get that last 3rd level score, even if the number didn’t happen. It's definitely the pride you feel when you know your horse tried his heart out for you in stadium.

Life as an ‘also ran’ might not be flashy or glamorous, in fact the only camera capturing the moment might be the one looking back at you in the rear view mirror, but it’s my life. It’s my ordinary, average, 8 table jumping life.

And it’s a whole lot better than that stupid paper vest.

Here's some footage from Five Points Horse Trials last weekend. A cheeky stop at the water, but otherwise an amazing XC run.