We are in the silly season that is the American Presidential election and desperately grappling with what all the uniquely ugly rhetoric and positioning means for our country at the moment but I’d like to set that all aside and take you some place else.
You see I am a fool, an absolute geeky fool for a very special event called the Tevis Cup. Put simply, Tevis is arguably one of the top-ten endurance events in the world of any kind. Founded on a dare, the ride has been run continuously since 1955. It is 100 miles of challenging trail through the high Sierra run on horseback. With over 20,000 feet of elevation gain and loss and temperatures that routinely hover in the 100’s, the trail challenges horses and riders in ways few other events come close to.
And like I said, I am a fool for it.
I read up on rider and horse back stories before the start. I study the route. I hover over team photos. On ride day I refresh the standings report, follow my favorites, and cheer everybody on. I marvel over the grit, hard work, and love between horse and rider and rider and teams, the tradition, the care of a cadre of vets and volunteers. It’s an over the top, deeply good thing.
I love Tevis because it reminds me of just how good we can be.
We humans, all of us.
How we can commit to something and work hard for it for years, just for the chance to step up to the line and give it our best. How we can care for each other deeply and do everything in our power to lift up and support those giving it all. How we humans can connect, profoundly, with a creature as otherworldly as a horse, and in partnership, take on a challenge together. How tradition can be kept and honored, and precious wilderness kept and protected. And how we can work together for something bigger than ourselves.
I look at Tevis and am humbled. Called even, to do better, to be better. To work harder with greater love and compassion for what matters– no matter how big or how small.
Find your thing to be a fool over and then sing it from the ramparts. We need it. One human to another.