I leave tomorrow morning on a once in a lifetime trip.
No, I am not eating my way through Tuscany, going on safari in Kenya, or traversing glaciers in Patagonia . But what I am about to do is equally as thrilling on a personal level.
I will be going to Lexington, Kentucky where I will spend four full days working as a volunteer for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The FEI World Games occur only once every four years and have never before been hosted in the United States. This year the Games will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park and I will be working in the main stadium as an usher during the Grand Prix Dressage competition and the Dressage portion of the 3-Day. I will have the opportunity to see the best equestrian athletes in the world compete for titles equivalent to Olympic medals in eight different equestrian sports. I will meet people from all over the world as nearly 60 countries are represented by athletes in the Games. The horses I will watch compete are worth several million dollars and are some of the greatest living expressions of their blood lines and boldest testaments to their training that I will ever have the pleasure of laying eyes on.
Aside from the obvious appeal of being a part of the largest sporting event to be held in the US this year (yes, Superbowl fans, you ain’t got nothin’ on this), the great amount of effort I put into registering, interviewing, testing, training, studying, funding, and planning my participation in this event makes the whole experience mean so much more to me. There is a rare feeling that comes with accomplishing something you set out on your own to do. When I tell people in my horse circle what I am about to do- they always ask how I got the job. It is with great comfort that can I tell them I truly earned this one. I have never worked so hard or paid so much for a volunteer position in my life- and I haven’t even worked my first shift yet! I also have never been more excited for that shift to start!
I love Kentucky. I love the part of my family that calls it home. I love black fences and bluegrass pastures. I love horses. I love bourbon. I love winding country roads. I love southern charm. I love fireflies. I love how the farm at night is so loud and so silent at the same time. I love being reminded how many stars there really are.
Hey I know I am romanticizing, but I’ve got one-half bourbon and bluegrass running through these veins and I can’t wait to be there again… I might not come back!