It seems like only yesterday I was planning my first Competitive Trail Ride (CTR) with Windy at Smithville Lake. Can't believe that was way back in May! And here it is September already and once again I am packing for a CTR -- an end of the season ride at Stephen’s Forest in Iowa this coming weekend. Where has the summer gone?
I have told my friends that this ride is my CTR “farewell ride”. Not because I do not appreciate the sport. I do. What a great opportunity it provides for trail riders like me to ride new trails and do something different on the trails. And what valuable feedback the judging provides. It truly challenges me to be a stronger rider and Windy and me to be a better team. And at the last ride, we had so much fun.
So why quit now? "Quit" is probably too strong a word. And I never "say never”. But at this time in my life, not unlike many of you, I find I am trying to balance a lot of things: work, home, and the kids and all their activities. And when I look at the big picture, after this year, there are only five more football seasons. And five more baseball seasons. And five more basketball seasons. Only five more fall concerts. You get the picture. Then the kids are done. Graduated. Gone! I'll then find myself looking for something more to do with my time and perhaps CTR will fit better in that new life.
But for now, the time it takes to truly condition for a CTR outside of normal riding, the expense of entry fees and travel (because only one CTR is relatively close to me), and the time away from home that all of this entails – combined with the time I am away for just recreational riding (which I won’t give up) - seems like a lot. Especially when so much is going on in their young lives right now.
So this coming weekend, I’ll go out with a bang or a fizzle. It doesn’t really matter. What I am expecting is to have two great days on the trail in early fall with my good mare and good friends. It doesn’t get any better than that!