You Never Know How Amazing You Can Be Until You are Willing to Let it All Go

August 19, 2013 at 10:15 pm (Excellence in Business, Freedom, LoVe, Polo, Relationships) (, , , , , , , , )

Now let me start out by saying that I am in no way shape or form a great polo player or even an okay one. I am an amateur who has spent her Spring and Summer trying to stay on a cantering, jogging, standing, galloping, trotting, and rearing polo pony all while learning to swing a mallot and score a goal now and again while preventing others the same. Riding off versus falling off and of course no discussion of polo would be complete without a discussion on hooking. This is where you prevent your opponent from getting a good swing at a ball we both have the right to…The only sport where a woman smiles proudly when you yell at her and say she is a great hooker!

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The hook is coming from the near side and you can see the player is leaning way out to reach the other player’s mallet. Often in this situation newbies will instead just attempt to ride off the opponent and in doing so foul by being too late, and end up running over the ball and now neither has the ball.

This week was Aloha Sunday at the polo club and so my Hawaiian coach was getting ready for the festivities and we had Graham Bray as our coach…on horseback. I knew then it was going to be a full throttle growth experience and was glad I had my light breakfast. Full throttle was an understatement. Graham Bray is the #2 all time top polo player out of New Zealand…gettin’ the picture?

For starters we were banned from ride-offs for the hour and had to use anything else legal to gain control of the direction of the ball and to control our opponent.

photo (10)This is harder than it sounds. So now we have to strategize and think longer term. Like just flicking the ball away to change the direction and therefore the invisible lanes…knowing the likelihood that any given player can make that shot, hook that shot or flick it away all happens in nano seconds as you approach the situation. Are you watching your man (this is your designated opponent)? Are you covering your team mate in case it gets hooked and is left for the next rider in line?  All on horseback under the ever warming sun… Just as I was thinking a break in the shade would be in order here comes Coach Bray and he gives a little whip tap to Sami and we are off to the races “get up there and get to the wall” he shouts as I rocket across the dirt toward the fast traveling ball heading for the arena wall and past the pack of players in the middle of the field. So much for my nap in the shade! I do make the shot get us closer to goal and all while the competition was under the proverbial shade tree napping. By the time the hour was over for us Coach Bray was galloping over to the barn to ready himself for his matches and we were dripping in sweat dribbling the balls toward the gate with floppy arms and red skin and jelly legs. I stood much more in my stirrups during the match than ever thanks to my weekday equitation lessons, and my thighs can tell you all about it…

20130616_100058I was exhausted in the best possible way and learned a whole lot more about life and polo today than I knew when I awoke in the morning.

Sometimes just when you want a break is when you really are on fire and it is time to persevere and learn the lesson of hard work.

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