Home Team, or Not?
The nice people at WEG have asked me to come work as a Crossing Marshal on cross-country day. To go or not to go. I am a model of undecided dithering.
Opportunity – The Pros
Chance of a lifetime! World-class competition! Like-minded souls! Shopping!
Crowd control. I can do this. As I told them, “I know crossing/crowd control is considered a low-status volunteer job, but I’m actually quite good at it. Smiling at people and saying – for the hundredth time – No you can’t go there. It is empty/off limits for a reason (explain reason with perky song & dance. Get laugh). And the fact that NO ONE else in this ENTIRE crowd of people had that same brilliant idea means you are just a special genius snowflake. Only I don’t say that last bit. After several hours of this I have to go off and be extremely bitchy. But that’s not your problem.” Plus, crowd control is a skill that never goes away. With jump judging, I found it hard to work major events without little events to keep my eye sharp and my confidence high.
Will I have a good time? Yes.
Will I regret missing it? Yes. Somewhat. I’m still sorry that I did not get up to Toronto for the PanAm Games in 2015. It’s not a decision that keeps awake at night, but I do have mild regret. (For an entertaining recap of PanAm 2015, see Writing From the Right Side of the Stall. Blatant plug, I’m a fan. Ten Things About the Toronto Pan Am Games, 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games: Dressage, 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games: Eventing.)
Distraction – The Cons
Been there, done that. Obstacle Communicator in Atlanta for the Olympics in 1996. Giudice Ostacolo
in Rome for WEG in 1998, Crossing Guard in Lexington for WEG in 2010. How many once-in-a-lifetime experiences does one person need?
Boredom. Doesn’t makes sense to go all that way for one day. What would I do with the rest of my time? You’d think I could volunteer elsewhere on other days. That didn’t happen in 2010. I spent a lot of time doing the Flying Dutchman back and forth across the Kentucky Horse Park. Thumb twiddling is not a good look on me.
Work. Could I turn it into a writing opportunity? No. Or at least, I’ve never been able to. Staff writers & editors get the big ones. They don’t need freelancers.
Blog. I would certainly get blog posts out of a trip to Tryon. But, I’m generally not lacking for reasons to yammer.
Vanity. The person who contacted me is very good at their job and flattered me inordinately. I’d hate to let them down.
The main reason, the big reason, is that I just said I was tired of watching other people ride, that I need to get out of the stands and get into the ring myself [End of the Road]. Am I falling back into the pattern of getting involved in everything but my own life ? Just this once? But there is always another once.
I’m not asking to tell me Go or Not Go, unless you feel like weighing in. Instead, what other questions should I ask myself to make my decision?
Thank you for reading,