Candace's Favorite Things

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I'm BACK! For those of you who are reading this for the first time. Welcome! If you've been waiting since I said "I'll be RIGHT BACK" well...I wasn't, (right back that is). I can't tell you how much it’s PAINED me to come off looking so uncharacteristically, ah...oh I don't know, FLAKY? Trust me when I tell you, “It wasn’t for lack of trying”.
If YOU have been "Trying" to be a faithful reader, you’ve been hindered from doing so because how can you follow something that isn’t moving? This whole scenario brings to mind what just might possibly be the most interesting and unusual analogy I’ve ever heard. It’s about the dangers of not moving forward and dead sharks. I know… ‘Say what’ Candace? Well, it’s the ‘WHAT’ here that really makes this so fitting. Mainly, because of the story behind how this all came to me. It’s worth backing into this one so you’ll better understand.
This little pearl of wisdom, (if indeed an analogy about lack of movement and dead sharks can be compared to a pearl of any sort), was told to me only once and yet obviously, I never forgot it. You know how that works. Often, someone tells you something seemingly insignificant or utterly lame. You roll your eyes and just shrug it off and then at just the right moment, at just the right time…there it is. You whisper under your breath “hey, dead sharks” and BAM, you get it! Well this one, for reasons I know not of, has helped me to continue to keep moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other during some of those …“STOP YOU DEAD IN YOUR TRACKS” kind of circumstances. These little nuggets of wisdom often seem to come from the most unlikely sources too don’t they? After all, pigs have been known to push priceless truffles from beneath the mud with their snouts, so these precious little pearls are often laying around for us to harvest if we’d just learn to listen more and talk a little less!
Now I’m in no way making a person to pig comparison here so no one need get their knickers in a knot. I’m just saying that we should take heed, we never know when someone we least expect is about to hand down precious nuggets of priceless “AH -HA MOMENT” stuff , just like this little ditty was handed down to me through the most unique source AND in the most unusual manner. It was channeled through, well, maybe that’s painted a bit too poetic. Honestly? It was ‘YELLED’ at me, from one of the best horse Show Jumping coaches in the country. She often boarded on the emotionally abusive but hey…what great coach isn’t a little verbally ‘over zealous’ ever now and then. She was not only one of the most highly sought after coaches but also one of the most seriously talented and FREAKISHLY FEARLESS competitive riders I’ve ever seen. I’d started riding when I was 12 and was entered into my first show TWO WEEKS LATER! I won a Second and third place ribbon in the two classes I’d entered and that was it…I was smitten. But what really sealed the deal was when I started competitively jumping. I was undone! This was the thrill that I’d apparently been seeking (much to my parents’ dismay). For this activity offered the two most sought after substances that are the life’s blood for those of us who are apparently born adrenaline junkies; serious RISK AND Life Threatening DANGER! This by far trumped my previous passion because no matter how hard or fast I tried playing Vivaldi, Bach or Beethoven it just didn’t match the feeling I got when I boarded that first majestic 5’6 , 1,200 pound beautiful beast. My heart stopped beating and I was mesmerized by the shear power this animal possessed, yet with the urging of my legs and the gentle movement of my hands I could tame this gentle giant to jump a 4 foot fence by simply imposing MY will. THIS WAS IT! We quickly saw that I had a knack for this sport and we set our sites on the “A” rated show circuit and thus, sought the best trainer we could find. The harder she pushed me, the more I liked it! Yeah, I know, I’m touched!!! No denying it, but what is NORMAL really? I once read a humorous little book called “NORMAL is just a setting on your dryer”! Ain’t that the truth or maybe that’s what we odd balls tell ourselves to feel as though we fit in…either way, works for me. I mean how normal is it for a 5 year old who’s never seen a violin before, to ask Santa Clause to bring her a “Biolin” for Christmas? Until I went with my friend (my piano teacher’s daughter), to a horse show where she was competing, all I did was eat, drink and sleep Vivaldi and Bach and every other classical composer you’ve ever heard of. The two passions continued to play a huge part in my life and at the age of 13( I believe it was), I was invited to play in concert with the Corning Symphony; Second Chair, Second Violin! As I've said before, I was born with not only a couple of bizarre birth defects (you can't see or detect by looking at me), but also with a warped 'Adrenaline Junkie' gene with a side of ‘Accomplishment addict’ to bring about a full blown Type A dare devil athlete who loves playing classical music . Over the years I’ve found more and more passions that I truly love, and the one I’m working to improve on right now, involves climbing hundreds of feet straight up without a net… but this will do for now. I tried to keep from confessing why I have actually been KEPT from writing but I remembered that I’ve promised to be transparent so that wouldn’t be fair. As of this past week,we think we have the answer but no matter what you call it, I’ve been dealing with a bizarre disruptive disorder since my latest surgery this past March and I find myself almost PASSING OUT when I stop to do anything sedentary, (ie. I fall sleep when I try to write, read, knit etc.) NO really…uncontrollably. SO we’ve been looking for a diagnosis and I believe we have just now nailed it. If correct, I can’t fix it, it’s a part of the stuff that I was born with just taking its progressive path. I wanted to tell you at least that much, ,because lately, I’ve appeared much like a DEAD SHARK!
So as we come full circle here, the question remains; what do I, dead sharks, not moving and my ex- riding coach all have to do with my intentions for this blog? Her analogy!
The lesson was a typical riding lesson where she lavishly bestowed her tyrannical skills of fear and intimidation in an attempt to pull the Excellence out in me….she got tired of my apparent insolence and got intimidatingly quiet!!! Why was she so upset? Well she wasn’t pleased with the speed which I was keeping as I took my mare around the course she had set. “FORWARD-you’re not moving like a hunter. Push her FORWARD”! A little bit of ‘horse lingo’ here, but we were chipping in and she was looking for us to take the fences with a bit more scope. I disagreed, WITHOUT saying so and kept my pace, pretending as though I couldn’t push her up.
Here’s a tip folks. If you tend to the LOUDER side of communication, you can grab someone’s attention real quick like if you get real quiet like and that’s what she did.
She stopped shrieking at me and after a bit and motioned me into the center of the ring. I WAS SHAKING IN MY BOOTS…LITERALLY!!!
I pulled my horse off the course and in towards my instructor. She was standing in the center of the ring, with one hand on her hip and starring at the ground. “This can’t be good”, I thought. “She can’t actually beat me can she”?
She took the side of my reins in her hands and pulled my horse close to her. She looked me dead in the eye.
“Candace…do you know about sharks”?
“Ah, ah I ah” that was real cool.
“Sharks”, She quipped…”When sharks stop moving, they DIE. What we have here, IS A DEAD SHARK”.
She let go, I resumed the course and picked up the pace!
It’s burned into my brain and to this day when for whatever reason, (my fault or not), if my feet begin dragging, I feel like a DEAD SHARK.
SO, now you’re stuck with it too and you’re welcome.
SO, let’s move through this year ‘together’ with passion and purpose! Until next time….

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