Courtney King-Dye’s life is a lesson in perseverance.
Pick any one stage of her incredible journey—from making the US Olympic team to surviving a devastating traumatic head injury; from reinventing herself as a Paralympian to embarking on motherhood—and you’ll be dazzled by the strength of her resolve.
But it’s her ability to find gratitude in the difficult moments that may be the most inspiring.
King-Dye’s latest blog post is a poignant reminder of that. In the May 24 post on ckddressage.com, she extrapolates on the joys of motherhood, the strength of her marriage and challenges of sleep deprivation. And then there’s this heartbreakingly honest portrayal of a difficult stage in her career.
Writes King-Dye [linebreaks added for ease of reading]:
I’m still teaching twice a week, and Koryn continues to fill me with pride. It’s odd now, though, after all my life of having a waiting list of horses and students, I’m struggling to find clients. Jason’s wonderful about not giving me a hard time for contributing so little, but we definitely feel the strain. Kids are expensive!
I feel yucky–like a failure–not being able to attract students, but of course it makes sense: I’m not in the ring proving myself, nor am I out there teaching, talking, and doing clinics a great deal like Lendon [Gray] reminding people of my presence. It shocks me sometimes that many of the new generation of riders have never even seen me ride.
In one way, it feels like decades have passed since my accident; in other ways, it feels like a mere year or two.
But time passes, and I know you can make of it what you want. I sometimes find myself worrying about the future–things as far away as Jason’s retirement–being unable to do things that most couples can do and we would enjoy together if I were able-bodied: golf, travel, exploring the wilderness.
And then I remind myself that there’s no point in worrying about things I can’t control and may not even be a problem. I look at my girls and think about my life as a whole: they’re beautiful and so incredibly much fun; I have a fantastic husband who’s more perfect than I could have hoped for in these difficult circumstances; I have a wonderful immediate family and some very good friends; I have a beyond ideal nanny who’s helping to raise my kids in the exact way I’d choose and shares the activities with them that I’m unable to do; I have a rider who embodies my desire to train and quenches my thirst for creating improvement.
Ya, there are certainly things I’m very sad I can’t do, but I have a lot, probably more love than most.
It’s safe to assume that she has more mental fortitude than most, as well. If adversity makes us stronger, King-Dye is human titanium.
What future awaits the American Olympian, we’ll have to wait for her next blog post to see. In the meantime, here’s a clip of King-Dye and Mythius competing in the 2008 US Olympic Trials for anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of watching her perform.
Read the rest of her blog post at ckdressage.com. [Spoiler: there’s a big (happy!) announcement in the post!]