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July 18, 2014

Broken Silence

Meg Kep has had a busy past few months, with her charge Manoir de Carneville being named to the World Games team and her Area II riders heading to NAJYRC (where she dressed as U.S. Chef d'Equipe David O'Connor for the annual golf cart parade).

With the World Equestrian Games fast approaching, I figured it was long past time to try to push past whatever writer’s block I’ve been experiencing. The last time we spoke, I got some mixed reviews from a lot of you. While I won’t delve into the depths of online commentary, because as a general rule of thumb we as contributors don’t ever go on the Forums, I do feel like I should mention that Perez Hilton has nothing on some of you! It is really quite impressive.

After I finished crying in the corner and eating my feelings, I did have to admit that someone asked a very valid question: “Why is this article on here?” To be honest, I kind of agreed with them.

The original premise of this blog was for me to write about human fitness and wellness within the horse world. My personal goal is to inspire others to be well. Fitness and wellness do not mean skinny, nor do they mean that you need a blue ribbon or to be a Crossfit champion, or to wake up at 3 a.m. to run 5 miles before mucking out 246 stalls by yourself on your below-the-poverty line salary.

Fitness and wellness can be defined more through finding a balance. And I have learned at several times throughout my career that we are all pretty horrible at balancing our lives. While it seems an almost impossible quest, it’s important to try to keep the scale (figuratively and literally) from tipping too far in one direction.

This is as much our about diets and sleep patterns as it is about pursuing our personal and professional goals. Everyone has a different definition of what completes them.

I find my personal definition of wellness changes more than it doesn’t. But part of my personal wellness is being able to share my thoughts, really with myself, on paper. And then I shamelessly submit it to the public for a few extra dollars.

I do realize that not everyone cares about what I have to say or relates to me. In all honesty, I rarely read other blogs, because I don’t really care what most people have to say, nor do I have the time to read them.

"Where are my young riders?" Meg Kep, who helps coach
the Area II teams, awaits the arrival of her riders at an early
morning workout before the North American Junior and Young
Rider Championships.

But I don’t write for the people who don’t care about what I have to say, just like the authors of the blogs I don’t read don’t write for people like me. We write for the people who do want to hear what we have to say, who do connect with us, who do feel inspired… Even if it is just one little person in a random little town of a random Midwestern state (holler, Midwest!).

The feeling of inspiring someone else is, quite honestly, one of the most humbling and powerful feelings I have ever felt. And perhaps the Chronicle may not be the best platform for me to discuss wellness—in which case I’m very happy to going back to talking about Tate all day, every day!

But for the people who’ve gotten anything from my blogs about fitness and wellness, or from any of the professionals’ blogs on this website about their experiences—know that we write for you. We don’t write for the angry trolls in the dark basements slamming our dressage scores. The best any of us can be is ourselves, and I am very lucky to be OK with just being MegKep for most of my life. (There was a short time when I was 6 that I thought I was Sam the Dog). 

So who knows what the future holds, but here’s to those who think outside the box, read in between the lines, and wake up every day trying to be better than they were yesterday. You inspire me. 

You’ve helped to drag me to the coffee shop I’m currently sitting in, consuming my 54th black coffee of the day, trying to block out the college kids to my left musing about how there are no homeless people in Middleburg because it’s too expensive to be homeless in Middleburg. I have, once again, found a way to make the workday longer by convincing myself it is normal to sleep four hours a day in pursuit of my goals.

Because a few weeks ago a silly little redhead named Tate was named to the United States Equestrian Team for the 2014 World Equestrian Games. Even though I knew it was coming, and I was not at all surprised he was named, I literally just had to choke back a tear even as I typed those words. 

This will be Sinead’s, Tate’s and my first big team competition, and it is something that we have all been waiting for our entire lives. Well, Tate probably doesn’t care at all, so long as The Princess’ fans are present at the jog.

So, as far as personal wellness goes, I am admittedly undersleeping, overworking, undereating, overdrinking, and probably in need of anti-anxiety meds. I’ve stayed up all night staring at Tate’s stall cam live feed while preparing for the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships this weekend. (Go Area II!)

But it’s all worth it. Because soon the WEG will be over, and this discomfort leading up to these great championships will fade completely behind all the memories, good or bad, that will be created in the coming months. I am happy, I am lucky, and I am so very excited to be a part of this team living part of this sports legacy.

Everything is always in constant flux, and sacrifices are necessary. But we get to determine what’s worth the cost of sacrifice. These adventures that have led me to this moment, sitting in this coffee shop six hours from my house, wearing dirty socks, eyes half-closed, full of black coffee, completely out of touch with what is happening with anyone’s life but Tate’s. And it has all been worth it, to have this great opportunity.

Pain is temporary, and so also is pleasure. Enjoy this day, whether good or bad, because it will not be the same tomorrow. And GO USA!

-Meg Kep

“Meg Kep” as she’s best known in the U.S. eventing community, resides in Chester, N.J., and works as head groom and manager at Sinead Halpin Equestrian. Meg, 28, is also committed to sustainable avenues promoting good horsemanship and the sport of eventing, and her recent dedication to fitness has inspired her to share her story and help others toward “the path of awesomeness” at You can read all of Meg's columns here.

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