The Age Impaired Rider: One shining moment

The NCAA basketball tournament wrapped up last night, and our resident “age impaired” rider Dia Fowles got her annual dose of motivation to go out and conquer her riding goals.

From Dia:


March Madness is over. And I am in tears.

This year like every year, at the end of the tournament, I sit in front of the TV watching the “One Shining Moment” montage over and over.

For the few who do not follow college basketball, who do not research and study the art of bracketology,  and do not chart their progress in office pools–well you few may need an explanation.

One Shining Moment is a song and a video, put together every year since 1997,  and is played at the completion of the men’s college basketball tournament. It is synched to the soulful vocals of Luther Vandross and it is made up of short video clips showcasing the best of the game and every players’ noble striving to be a champion.

The producers always capture footage with raw emotion from fans, players, coaches and cheerleaders. No matter what you say about big time NCAA athletics with the corruption from the almighty dollar, the recruiting violations and scandals, this video makes sport pure again.

From the absolute joy on the winning player’s faces to the misery of the losers, some who will never get to play the game at this level again–it is all there. Really, only a person with a graveyard stone-cold heart would not love this video.

I’ve TiVoed it three times already. And every time it brings tears to my eyes. It doesn’t help that the Kansas Jayhawks, the pride of the Sunflower state (my state), lost to Kentucky and that I had a few too many beers at the American Legion with my hubby. But seriously, beer or no beer, Jayhawks or no Jayhawks, I would be crying.

The best thing about this video and the thing that makes me so emotional, it is that it makes one believe that anything is possible. It makes me think that me, an old semi-fit equestrian and her unregistered, uninspected, warmblood plowhorse-looking mount can compete at the Rolex. With enough hard work, blood sweat and tears Abby and I can go Advanced. According to Luther, “In one shining moment you reach for the stars.” Do you want to miss that chance?

But One Shining Moment is also an honest video, as it shows the strain on the players both mentally and physically. It also lets you know that there is only one champion and that many valiant and deserving teams are sent home, knowing that their only connection with the tournament will be to watch the victors on television. Are you ready to work that hard and take that risk?

It is often said that great things are only done with great sacrifices. The champion Kentucky Wildcats did that and I challenge all of the age-impaired equestrians to go out and do the same. The clock is not on our side, we only have a finite amount of years left to pursue our sport and to ride and the highest level personally possible. So go do it and do it now.  It can be your moment if you make it your moment.

So watch this year’s version of One Shining Moment–play it over and over until you are ready to go get on your horse and ride. Harness the drive and focus you had when you were young. Channel it into your riding now. You are wiser and more experienced and know way better how to use this raw emotion.

It’s my shining moment and I don’t want to waste it. By this time next year when a new college basketball champion in crowned and I sob through the montage once again, I want to know I accomplished something.

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