There's Nothing to Worry About

January 12, 2011
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“Clear on number 17.” says the announcer.
That jump was child’s play,
compared to the one I start to think
about now-- the jump,
my jump.

My heart starts to race,
though I know what I have to do.
I’ve practiced it so many times
it should be like second-nature now.
But no--
this time is the real deal.
The actual turf,
the actual timing while I take my
turn on the cross country course.

Worry creeps into my mind,
coming from the back and cloaking my mind with blackness.
“Remember the last time Georgia,” it taunts
“Remember the fall you took. The pain
it caused, the hospital bed. Remember
the injury. The image of it. Remember you hitting
the ground. Remember the blackness and terror of the moment.”

I shake my head violently,
pushing my fear away.
I square my eyes and try to focus my brain.
My heels are locked down
into their position, I, not daring to let them move.
With them, I urge Maxx faster and faster,
his mighty hoofs beating the ground
as he strides into a gallop now.

Nothing to worry about now. I tell myself.
But there is--
as we come racing up the hill,
we approach the jump--
my jump.

Palms sweating now,
my fingers start to slip.
Slip into a deep, two beat- ca-plunk, ca-plunk,
while my heels break free and start to do the same.
My braided, blond hair unravels into
silky black mane that flows with the wind now,
and cream riding jodhpurs
are peeled back to reveal a
sweaty, bayish-brown coat of cleanly
clipped and conditioned coat.

My mind set changes.
“Ha, this jump is nothin’ but net”
as I charge on,
my tail flying majestically behind me.

My nostrils flaring, and chewing on the bit hard now,
I pin my ears back and throw my head up
just a tad.
Closer and closer,
until my strides come to
3, 2, 1,--jump.

Soaring like and eagle,
landing as gracefully as a swan,
I hear the announcer say,
“Clear on number 18.”

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reader said...
Feb. 3, 2011 at 1:51 pm
Love how it changes from the girl rider to the horse.
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