A roadside hunt breakfast after a childhood foxhunt
A roadside hunt breakfast after a childhood foxhunt (I’m just left of center)

I have high expectations for everyone, including myself. That means that the list of people I admire is limited. Generally, I don’t admire people for their qualities alone, but for what they make of the things they have. No matter their character traits, material possessions or privileges, others only earn my respect if they use what they have to act admirably. That includes living life fully and without regret. I’d like to point out that living your own life should never occur at the expense of someone else’s quality of life. In fact, striving to actively exert a positive influence on your surroundings while avoiding any negative impact on others is an important part of living a good life. Nevertheless, living a good life begins with pursuing your passions and doing what makes you happy.

A childhood foxhunt on my first horse, Nick
A childhood foxhunt on my first horse, Nick
The people I admire most excel in this area. There are remarkable, admirable individuals in many areas of my life, but no environment attracts these types like the foxhunting community. I grew up with an incredible riding instructor who belonged to our local foxhunting club (fox chasing, if we’re being particular). I was lucky enough to be introduced to that world through my instructor, and she also introduced me to some of the people I most admire. The members who were impeccably turned out every Saturday oozed the deepest love for this sport and the considerable energy and boundless courage it requires. Foxhunting is full of decorum because so many factors must be in place in order for the day to run smoothly. Only by respecting each other, landowners, horses, hounds and the fox equally can we enjoy the sport that makes every miserable, mundane hour of life worth slogging through. They brought me into the fold, and made me feel welcome as a naive, awestruck eleven-year-old. I’ll be forever grateful for the influence they’ve had on me, and hope to remain part of their community for many years to come.

This post is a response to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge Admiration.

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