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Being Resilient

September 17, 2019

Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.   One of the greatest skills that I have acquired over years and years of successes and failures is the art of resilience…the ability to pick myself up after being knocked down.  Again and again.  I have lived the adage “it’s not the number of times that you get knocked down that matters, it’s the number of times you get up!”

 

In the world of business, engineering and life, we are all trying to attain goals, and stay on track. For me, this translates into putting a great plan together, and then developing another totally different plan because of…..well, reasons.  Things change.  Priorities shift.  Life happens. As I have aged and entered the world of “wisdom”, I have learned – often the hard way – that not everything is equal. Some priorities should alwaysbe first, and some should neverbe last.

 

One of my hobbies is horses, and more specifically, endurance racing.  The toughness I have developed while in this sport is formidable….something even the Marines who I work with daily comment on, and that says something!  Harley, the 15 year old Arabian gelding in the photo, was at one time lame and I was told he would never do long distance again. He proved them wrong and has done nearly 3000 competitive miles.  Last April, he nearly died from colitis of unknown origin – Colitis-X they call it. He didn’t die.  He went on to do 5 one day 100 mile horses after his recovery (he had only done 2 prior).  This August 17th, we completed the Tevis Cup.  184 horse/rider teams started, 98 finished, and Harley and I came in 60th.  I got the belt buckle.  Prior to his illness, I never would have considered Harley a “Tevis Horse”.  Harley is the picture of resilience and I have learned a lot from him.

 

So how do I translate this into my daily life?  Very easily….

  • Listen to everyone, and recognize that even the experts do not know everything.  Sometimes you have to go with your own instincts, and you will be right.

  • Trust your foundation, and build from that base.

  • Get back on the horse.  Ha.  I had to put that one in there but it’s true! Don’t let fear of failure keep you from success that you can’t even imagine.

  • Taking an unscheduled break from a hectic routine, may actually make you better at what you are trying to accomplish.

  • A few BIG things, may bring you more satisfaction then a lot of little things.

  • There may, no there WILL be setbacks, but that does NOT mean that the goal will never be met. 

  • You may have to change your goal mid-stream, and that is ok.  In fact, it may lead to a more fulfilling experience and result!

 

My hobby has led me to live a life with more confidence and strength than I could have ever imagined, and it actually brings tears to my eyes when I think about the gentle giants who are entrusted in my care.  I can only hope that the teams I work with are able to gain some of the wisdom my beautiful herd has taught me.

 

Be resiliant.

 

Layne & Harley

 

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