My mom is the latest in a string of folks telling me I have to read The Secret.
Whenever someone tells me this, they then go on to tell me what the secret is: If you believe in your dream you can make it come true. The book, I've been told, is full of stories of dreamers who made their dreams come true.
All well and good. However, I don't need to read the book because I already believe this premise and put it into action daily.
I get up every morning, go outside, feed my horses, and ride. I do this every day because I am a forty-six-year-old mother of two who has an Olympic dream. Seriously.
I know the odds of me realizing my dream are small, although not without precedent. A couple of Olympics ago, a retired mounted police officer named Klaus Balkenhol rode on the German dressage team when he was in his sixties. (Today he is the coach of the US Dressage team.) He won an individual medal and the German team won the gold medal (as they always do).
Mr. Balkenhol is my talisman against skeptics (read: Tim). If he can do it, so can I. The dream keeps me going out to the barn every day: saddling up, riding, mucking stalls, hauling water buckets, reading, learning, growing, exercising (body and mind). I often think of another secret I read somewhere that went like this: This is not your practice life. This is your World Championship Life. Play it like you mean it.
Even though my chances, as Tim would say, are slim and none, I hold tight to my Olympic dream.
Here's the real secret: With my dream, I might not make the Olympics. Without my dream, I definitely won't make it.