spirithorse21: (Ribbons)
Looking at the medal count, Team USA is doing very well by all standards, but we didn't do so hot in any of the equestrian events. I've been trolling around the forums looking to see what others think about our non-medal performance, and it seems that those who think our performance was pretty poor are in the minority. Most folks seem to be saying that we gave it our best and that should be good enough.

I don't agree. I'm going to be a bit of a nationalist here because I think that is largely what the games are about--national pride. Yes, I am proud of those who *did* perform well in the equestrian events. Team Great Britain has been amazing and their dressage performance was inspirational to watch. I really couldn't be happier for them. Michael Jung's performance in eventing was also nothing short of phenomenal and he has really set a high bar for up-and-coming riders. What a role model to have in eventing! I didn't see very much of the showjumping, but I also think it's pretty awesome that Sweden turned out an individual silver medal and that Saudi Arabia earned a team bronze...who cares that they bought their horses? The powers that be in that country decided they wanted to bolster their show jumping program, and they went out there and did it. I'd say that's national pride working hard right there!

Back to Team USA. Did we give it our best? Did our athletes try their very hardest? I believe they did. Boyd's performance on XC was quite an opener, and KOC was a shining star for Team USA. We had some bad luck in eventing. Our dressage team had two not-so-experienced horses and one horse ready to retire. I think Ravel and Peters gave as good as a performance as the horse had left in him. I thought the freestyle was ridden very sympathetically and it was touching. I didn't see any of Team USA show jumping, so I cannot comment on how they performed.

However, our best was no where near good enough to medal. No, we can't medal in every event every time. But, we should be striving to be eligible for a medal. And I'm not entirely sure that was the case here. Or maybe we were, but everyone knew it wasn't a reality. After all, no one seems surprised that we didn't medal, Sports Illustrated didn't pick us to medal in any equestrian events, everyone seems to be saying that Europe has a far superior riding and breeding program...it all adds up to Team USA kicking the dirt from the sidelines.

This pervasive attitude that we gave it our best and we should be happy with that is not the mind set of a winner. I would be willing to bet money that every one of our Olympic athletes is *not* happy with the Team USA outcome in equestrian. They may publicly say we did our best, but I would bet that quietly, they thought they could do better.

And that's exactly how they need to think. Our eventing coach is about to change, and it sounds like that will be a very good thing. Certainly our international performance hasn't been all that great under Coach Phillips. I don't know what to think about our coaches for SJ or dressage, I don't follow those sports closely enough. But it seems that we need an overhaul in our approach and attitude in order to be competitive on the international level. We need more funds, better breeding programs, and more ways to challenge and shape our upcoming stars. Some people have said it's disappointing that we can't do more given the very large pool of competitors we have to choose from, but that's just it--America is so large, it makes it hard to fund all the people. And it's not cheap making a star! So what can we do? How do we up our game to compete with GB and the Germans? What is different now from the days when we were internationally competitive? How do we get it back, or better yet, usher in a new era that is sustainable in our current world? I'm not sure. But I think more people should be wondering this rather than just saying we were good enough. Clearly, we weren't.
spirithorse21: (Horse running)
[livejournal.com profile] windy_withers sent this to me. As a philosophy minor and advocate of beer, I feel compelled to share it with you all here...

Mayonnaise and Beer


When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar...and the beer.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes." The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things--your family, your children, your health, your friends, your favorite passions--things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else--the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house, and fix the disposal. "Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.

The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers."
spirithorse21: (Horse running)
[livejournal.com profile] windy_withers sent this to me. As a philosophy minor and advocate of beer, I feel compelled to share it with you all here...

Mayonnaise and Beer


When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar...and the beer.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes." The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things--your family, your children, your health, your friends, your favorite passions--things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else--the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house, and fix the disposal. "Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.

The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers."
spirithorse21: (The Way)
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson


More later ...
spirithorse21: (The Way)
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson


More later ...
spirithorse21: (pcusa praise)
Here. Here is my place. Here among the grasses and the breeze and the rolling storm clouds that bear down upon us. Here, where the scent of horseflesh fills my nose and I can feel their hooves impacting the ground even as I stand across the field from them. Here is where I belong.

Before the storm

Blue, green, and black

I am beginning to feel closure here in this city. I can’t really say that I will miss it, though I’ve had a good time here and wouldn’t change the last three years for the world. Without it, I wouldn’t have Ann or Robin or Jeremy. I wouldn’t have had many other experiences, including growing closer to my big brother and his family. But I am ready to go to a smaller city with more rural spaces, fresh vegetables, cows, buffalo, and horses. I look forward to our yard with the small garden patch and the clothesline and the large deck that I want to refinish and stain. I will need curtains and floor rugs. Linseed oil. I will need Linseed oil. The counters are made of wood and they have no seal coating, so we have to oil them every so often.
Invitation: Into the Garden of Eden. No RSVP required. )
spirithorse21: (pcusa praise)
Here. Here is my place. Here among the grasses and the breeze and the rolling storm clouds that bear down upon us. Here, where the scent of horseflesh fills my nose and I can feel their hooves impacting the ground even as I stand across the field from them. Here is where I belong.

Before the storm

Blue, green, and black

I am beginning to feel closure here in this city. I can’t really say that I will miss it, though I’ve had a good time here and wouldn’t change the last three years for the world. Without it, I wouldn’t have Ann or Robin or Jeremy. I wouldn’t have had many other experiences, including growing closer to my big brother and his family. But I am ready to go to a smaller city with more rural spaces, fresh vegetables, cows, buffalo, and horses. I look forward to our yard with the small garden patch and the clothesline and the large deck that I want to refinish and stain. I will need curtains and floor rugs. Linseed oil. I will need Linseed oil. The counters are made of wood and they have no seal coating, so we have to oil them every so often.
Invitation: Into the Garden of Eden. No RSVP required. )

Profile

spirithorse21: (Default)
spirithorse21

May 2016

S M T W T F S
1234567
8 91011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031    

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 20th, 2017 07:26 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios