16.3.18

"You can't be normal and be excellent"

I recently saw a fantastic video on Facebook which interviewed the Canadian dressage rider Cindy Neale-Ishoy and it was such an inspiring story from her, about her way of thinking and training. In case you don't know anything about her, she is a Canadian dressage rider and was a member of the Canadian team at the 1988 Olympics where she placed fourth in individual dressage, and won a bronze medal in team dressage. She also competed at the 1972, 1992 and 2004 Summer Olympics.
Hands down the most memorable thing she said in this short video was to "train harder and do better" 👊🏻 You do not get better from simply wishing you were better, you get better by training harder and working more! Stop making excuses and just be the best you can be because absolutely no one is going to do it for you. Train harder and go out there to win and be happy with what you achieve even if it's not a first place result 🏆 Those who are the best riders are the best riders because "they want to know more" whilst those who don't want to know or to learn more will always struggle. It was very interesting for me to hear that for her and George Morris the "biggest problem is that people don't want to know". I'm almost fanatical in my need to constantly learn more in order to become a better rider, and I can't actually see why someone would put so much money and time into a sport like this without wanting to actually learn more!
Another thing I found myself nodding along to was the story Cindy told about the conversation she's had with the parents of the kids she has trained, where the parents have been "I want my children to have a normal life e.g. go to the movies, go on holidays etc." And then she made a good point that if you want to be normal, but then you can't be excellent as "it is not possible to have a normal life and then expect to be excellent." Like myself, Cindy didn't go go to school dances or out to movies or shopping every weekend with friends etc, instead we were out either training or competing. And this IS NOT a sad sob story, it's about choice. The choice of either to go out and be a normal kid or to go ride my horse and train. I am not sad for one moment and I don't feel like I've missed out on anything, I am more than happy that I have the childhood that I did! A lot of parents don't embrace their child's passion, but fortunately mine did. And the same with my both my bachelor's degree and master's degree and the time spent at university, I haven't had the 'normal' going out and getting wasted at parties time, instead I spent my free time with the horses, riding and learning and I don't regret anything because it was my journey and I am STILL loving it!

We all must remember that nobody who is super successful in ANYTHING (not just dressage!) hasn't had a easy way up there and it will have taken a lot of sweat, blood and tears to get there. Progressing in dressage or in form of riding is about the systematic gymnastic training of the horse and rider, not about today and tomorrow - we must all look at the long term plans rather than yesterday's and today's rides!

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