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What it takes to succeed in Sport and Life

Updated: Apr 30, 2022

People looking in from the outside of someone's life - someone in the middle of pulling off miracles of athleticism or resilience - often wonder how on earth they do it. From the outside, it can look impossible to the rest of us, like some sort of Magic! That's because we have separated ourselves from them; putting them so far up on pedestals that they start to look like veritable Gods, way up there in the sky!

Pedestaling others is a preposterous practice that so many of us are guilty of. The distance we put between 'us' and 'them' creates a chasm that prevents the connection and learning we need, to do what they do so well. And it's a drag, no matter which side of that sky-high stool you are on, hiding under it in the shade feeling unworthy of the sun ... or swaying up there on your unasked-for plinth in the glare of so much misunderstood attention and envy. There is no connection, no reality. From this perspective, we can’t tell if where they are at, is even somewhere we want to go, or what it took for them to get there.

So, let's get down and dirty together right here on the ground. We'll keep our feet planted, our heads out of clouds and see what we can learn from those whose success we so admire.

Since my background from long ago is in the equestrian sport of Three-day Eventing, I'll be looking to my friends and peers; riders revered for the 'Magic' they seem to pull off with their horses. Today, we'll meet the Laws of eventing. Canadian rider Leslie Grant-Law and her husband Leslie Law, who I just spent two weeks with in Ocala, Florida. And in view of my more recent history - surviving the tumultuous trifecta of cancer, chemo and covid 19, fresh on the heels of bankruptcy, divorce, and destitution - I'll pull the common threads we find between resilience and sporting success; because as I have learned the hard way, all the gold medals in the world won't buy you the happiness OR the health that you seek!

When I was riding on the Canadian Equestrian Team, they hired renowned sport psychologist Dr. Terry Orlick to