My dad was my hero in many ways. For one, he never tried to shelter me from new experiences. He wanted me to figure out my own way to solve problems. For example, if I fell, he wouldn’t rush to pick me up. As a child with a disability, I fell often, but Daddy knew he wouldn’t always be there to help. Isn’t it that way when you start a new venture? You could have trouble at first, but then you sort it out.Another thing Daddy said was having courage didn’t mean not being afraid, but acting even when you felt that fear.
Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a champion rider and Daddy never discouraged me. Instead, he said, “You can do anything you want, if you persevere. Certain things will take longer.” He was right about some things taking a long time. For example, I rode for 6 years before even starting to jump. Looking at the tiny cross rail, it seemed as high as Pikes Peak. My horse should have worn glasses just to see the little jump. My lips quivered.”Daddy, couldn’t you make it a little lower,” I pleaded. But his response was, “If I make it lower, there’ll be nothing to jump.” Once the big white horse, Laddie and I successfully made it to the other side of the jump. I jumped around yelling, “Daddy, I jumped.” He kissed me to celebrate the first step in the long journey of overcoming fears to reach my goals.