Even the sun seemed sad that EDAP was drawing to a close. On Saturday the weather turned grey and cool. The sadness of leaving so many new and old friends was already setting in. Even though there was an early Sunday morning program, all the West Coast riders had early Sunday a.m. flights. So this was our last day!
For the first time all week the workout with Bob was actually painless. I think it is that week mark which gets you over the hump of the change in intensity. I hope that I can take this feeling back to Washington and keep up many of the lessons I learned (again) from Bob. While we may not all do the same exercises or keep up the same format; I hope we all have learned a valuable lesson about the level of our fitness. To be top international competitors you have to push beyond the norm. You have to push beyond yourself to strive higher. (I am proud to say that since coming back I have kept up my core training and have done daily planks in Bob’s honor!)
I was the first rider at 8 a.m. with Courtney King-Dye. I was so happy to see her for our one year reunion. Last year at the first EDAP clinic I got to attend a New Year ’s Eve party with Courtney at Jenn Baumert’s house. She and Jenn actually took time to watch my freestyle video and give me pointers! I will never forget the amazing gift they gave me that night. I hope to always treat people as they did me. I was so inspired and proud as they watched my video.
I was so glad to see how far Courtney has come in 12 months. She gives me inspiration and courage. One thing I can say her toughness and high level of demand from her students has never wavered. I spent the next 60 minutes working so hard I thought my stomach muscles, my arm muscles, and even my thigh muscles were going to start quivering. But by about 20 minutes into the lesson Renoir was in a beautiful frame and it was by far my best ride of the week. Thanks Courtney.
I then went to watch Genay Vaughn ride with Michael Barisone. Michael trained Wilson, the horse Genay rode all week. So Michael knew what Wilson was capable of and I figured this would be some exciting display of horsemanship! I think a lot of people had the same idea because nearly everyone lined up along the arena to watch. Genay proceeded to wow us and even did a perfect Grand Prix zigzag! Michael said it was easily an 8! She even got a standing ovation from the viewers. It was a great end to an amazing week for both Genay and I.
Genay and I had to zip out of one afternoon session to go thank our owners for the use of their horses and to arrange transport for them back home! I want to again say thank you to Rick Silva for the privilege to ride Renoir. Check out my facebook for some pictures of this lovely horse (who competed at the European Young Rider Championships!) BTW he is for sale!
We made it back to Still Point Farm just in time for the media discussion by the always interesting and stimulating Mary Phelps. She gave us more great pointers about handling the media along with amazing anecdotes that are so fun to hear. Robert even jumped in with some pointers from his own experiences with the media. Mary then had three auditors come up and do practice interviews. I have to say amazing congrats to Sarah Whitney for her smooth as silk answers! Good Job.
Finally, a quick change of clothes and off to the party at Hampton Green. Ok, so we got really lost on the way there. Thanks GPS for having no clue. But I had an amazing time and I will always cherish every memory with my old friends and my new ones.
Bye and thanks Lendon, Robert, Courtney, Katherine, Jan, Tina, Bob, Michael, Tuny, Dr. Susser, Dr. Bennnett, Dr. Mitchell, and anyone I might have left out. This is a life changing event. Please everyone who can help support it by volunteering or sponsoring! Check out how on EDAP’s webpage.