For many years I’ve been a ride and tier. You might think this sounds kind of dirty. Often, it is. I have finished ride and ties covered in dirt, dust, blood, horse snot, Gatorade, and pee (you don’t want to know). I have been exhausted, depleted, elated, pissed off (at myself), and overwhelmed with gratitude. I’ve crossed the finish line in first place, in the middle of the pack, holding hands with my partner, limping from a badly sprained ankle, and always, always smiling.