“Time….is on my side. Yes it is!” –The Rolling Stones
Sometimes I look at the younger riders and wish I was a 20 Something or a 30 Something. Not just to have a younger body but to have more time. Time! More years still ahead; to ride, to learn, to experience with my horse. I’m a 67 year old Senior and I plan on riding till I’m dead. Yes! But realistically I don’t know how many more years I can ride, train and compete at the level I am now. That is why I look at the youngsters and wish I could turn the clock back.
What is it like to be a 20 Something and a rider and have a full time job and maybe family as well? I decided to talk to a 20 Something, 27 to be exact, and find out. Her name is Zoe Cameron.
Zoe do you find it hard to balance the riding and the other parts of your life?
Zoe: Hell yes! My job for a start. I mean, I love it. I love it because I make enough money to be able to have a good horse and ride, train, compete. That’s why I love it. The job is pretty much fun and my boss is ok with me taking some days off for competition in the summer. So…it’s all good.
Does he understand your love of riding and horses?
Duckworth, that’s my boss, he’s a polo player. So he’s cool with it. I get on pretty well with him. His first name is Clarence but I always call him Duckworth. He’s a Brit and he says it reminds him of being in school.(She chuckles) He went to some fancy private school and they all called each other by their last names so he thinks it’s amusing that I do that, says it takes him back.
What about your personal life?
Zoe: You mean Fred? My Significant Other. (Zoe rolls her eyes as she says this) He’s started talking about “taking our relationship to the next level”. (She says this with a tone of mimicry in her voice). Well……I don’t know what universe he’s living in but I don’t have time for any “next level”. I’m cool with where we are now. Marriage? Kids? I’m just not into that right now and I just do NOT have the time for it. I’ve got a full and I mean FULL time job. I’ve got four people working under me now and if I miss a beat, and I mean miss a SINGLE beat, those 20 Nothings will be on me like dogs to dinner and cut me off at the knees. For cereals!
So there is a lot of competition in your workplace?
Zoe: You got it! I am seriously good at my job and I am moving up in the firm but like I said……they’d be like…..cutting me off at the knees!
How does your riding fit in?
Zoe: Keeps me sane. Absolutely keeps me sane. My horse, Deutschmark….. fabulously talented horse. Got the body and the brains. My coach, Phyllis, says we can make it to Grand Prix. Seriously! And I believe her. We did amazing this summer at the St.George and Inter 1. Next year…. on to the Inter 2. You know what?
Zoe leans in toward me her eyes sparkling. And she says:
Cynthia wants me to go to Florida for the winter season. She thinks it would be a great experience for Deutschie and me. Wouldn’t that be awesome? (Then her smile fades.) But there’s no way.
Zoe: Well….Duckworth might be cool with me taking a few extra days in the summer for shows but a couple of months in the winter? No. No way.
Have you told Cynthia this?
Zoe: Yeah but she says that I have the horse for it and I should ride the Grand Prix before I turn 30 and (Zoe’s voice trails off and she looks out the window. Then she looks back at me.)I just can’t do it. Can’t afford to do it.
Could your parents help?
Zoe: Ah, no. If it was a business venture my Dad would go for it but a horse thing? No. My Mom would totally go for it if it was for a big wedding to some gazillionaire but otherwise? No.
Could you save up, do it and then look for another job when you get back?
Zoe: Maybe but I’d like to add some more job titles to my resume with this firm before I go out there into the craziness of job market again. So…maybe…..later. But Deutschie is already 13 so I can’t leave it forever. I don’t know. I just don’t have the time to do everything I want to do. Just don’t have the time.
So Zoe has the years ahead of her but she doesn’t have the time to do things now.
Well, Dear Readers, I’m sure you have guessed that Zoe is in fact, a composite of several young women I know, some riders and some not and a few bits of myself at age 27.All of them are women caught in the squeeze between time for life and time for a career.
Time. I may not have a lot of it ahead but I have it now. Present time is on my side. Yes it is.