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[RC] WEC - Bruce Weary

I have never done an FEI ride. I wouldn't even know how to sign up. I don't have any particular interest in doing international riding myself. I don't have the time, money, knowledge, or the horse to compete at that level. I am quite happy riding here at home, in the USA.
I am, however, interested in the human drama, effort and excitement that is generated at an event like the recent WEC.
I often tell my patients that their bodies (and their minds, for that matter) reflect the total cumulative effect of the choices they have made and activities they have participated in over their lifetime--good or bad. It shapes their health, and their bodies' capabilities. Whether they sit on the sofa and eat chips every day, or have conditioned themselves to run marathons--their body will reflect what demands have been put on it.
I believe this is true of each endurance rider, as well. There are those among us who struggle to finish an LD ride, and can't or don't attempt the longer distances, and may never know the satisfaction of truly extending their minds and bodies by attempting the more challenging levels of endurance riding, whatever those may be. And there are those who ride 100's, multidays, Tevis, OD, etc., routinely, and even compete internationally at the highest level this sport offers. I think each rider is molded according to the demands of whatever level of difficulty they expose themselves to, or avoid. Our imaginations can only carry us so far, as we try to offer opinion on what it must be like to compete at something like the WEC, if we've never even been close to being there ourselves.
I don't think our US team would ask for, nor needs defending. I am guessing they are the kind of people who understand that you can literally "fail your way to success." Each experience is a lesson, and each mistake an opportunity to improve. I hope they are reveling in the feeling one gets just from having "a good try." I wouldn't mind having a cold brew with John Crandall and Jan Worthington and Valerie Kanavy and the rest of the gang and be regaled with their stories of the entire experience. I'm sure they are already making notes of what can be done better, in conditioning, strategy, feeding, etc. They can only improve, and they know it, and they thrive on that knowing. I'm thankful that there are those, in all walks of life who are willing to go for it. Then, I don't have to put down the chips, get off the sofa, and try to do it myself.
Winning isn't absolutely everything, and this sport knows that better than almost any other, except perhaps the Special Olympics. I thought it was poetic that as things sort of unraveled due to some unforeseen challenges, just the opportunity to finish was starting to look pretty good. Our philosophy was with them, after all.
In the words of that sage 21st century philosopher, Rocky Balboa, "It's not how hard you can get hit. It's how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward." Bruce Weary

Dayna and I have signed up to be volunteers at the 2010 WEG in Kentucky. I think it's gonna be fun.


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