Passion

Thanks to Aaron Bertrand (b|t) for a great topic to encourage me to make my first foray into T-SQL Tuesday, which I should have done a long time ago.  And thanks, Gene (b|t) for the inspiration as well!

So.. passion. That’s what makes us so special as a community. There are so many people that have true passion – for knowledge, for sharing that knowledge, and for building and supporting our community. And I, for one, was surprised to find that I had a passion for data. It was a pleasant surprise to find out I loved what I was doing and that I could feel so strongly about .. well, you know, boring data!

But… being a DBA and performance tuner isn’t what defines me. There is something else that is my sanity, my self-confidence, and my passion. And, lucky for me, that community is as awesome in it’s own way as the SQL Server community is. I am… a three-day eventer.

Huh? Well, to break it down to it’s simplest form, I ride horses. Or, at least right now, horse. And yes, although most of you who have talked to me for any length of time know this, you’ll also notice that I don’t talk about this much. Yeah, I still get the high-school-like jokes about glue and dog food when I talk about this with non-horsey friends. It’s kind of like talking performance tuning with non-SQL people. It’s better to just not do it.

But, why is riding horses so great? Well, because it’s all about building a partnership, and hard work, and focus. If you want to be good (and most of us keep working at getting better all the time), you need to put the effort into it. This isn’t much different than other things, but there’s two of you – two of you to work on things, two of you to keep in shape, and two of you to keep healthy and happy. But, then you always have a partner – you build trust and respect, and if you’re lucky, love. And an escape from the rest of your life, because sometimes, we all need to do that. At the barn, I can step away from everything that may be going wrong elsewhere.

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There are three parts to a horse trials; the first is dressage, which is the equivalent of a dance routine on horseback.

The second part is cross-country, a course of solid natural obstacles ridden at speed. The third part is stadium jumping – a course of rail fences that require agility and scope. Being good at one of these things, let alone all three, is a challenge. Add to this the fact that your partner is a 1200-pound animal who doesn’t always agree with you, and it can be… interesting. Humbling, certainly. And, absolutely incredible!

I had my first horse for 20 years. He was my best friend and my strength through cancer, two marriages, building a career, and everything in between. We never rocked the competition world, but I learned so much from him. He had a rough early life, and had a difficult time trusting people. Although it took time, I earned his trust and his love. As the years went by, we became a stronger and stronger team, and we did amazing things. Unfortunately, his legs weren’t as strong as both of our personalities. I laid him to rest a little less than two years ago, and I will never stop missing him.

I have a redheaded youngster now, who is wonderful in his own way. We both still have a lot of rough edges together as partners, though. Hopefully in a couple of years, we’ll manage to rub those off and be able to trust each other totally. Meanwhile, we’ll keep working on little things like convincing Ben to let go through his back, and me remembering to keep my heels down, both seatbones in the saddle, and my shoulders back. Always with the shoulders back 🙂

Thanks for listening!