Collie's Personal Triumphs Page

or a list of a few of my inner lions


The title of this page will make a lot more sense if you read some background. Don't worry, it's short... and once you've read it, you'll also understand why I started using the phrase 'lions to slay.' Yes, that pre-calculus grade is one of my biggest and proudest lions.

Here are some more, in chronological order from the earliest ones in my life, when I simply thought of them as fears I had to conquer or goals to which I aspired, to the most recent ones, including a few I'm currently working towards.

Yes, I'm still working on both this page and my life. ;-)
lion head Spain

This one wasn't so much something I specifically did all by myself, as something I'm both proud of having been a part of, and that influenced my life a great deal.

I lived in Spain for several years. It was beautiful and magical and pragmatic and strange and completely normal, like most experiences are for children. It also taught me both to enjoy helping people (knowing the language can be a big help!) and to see the world more objectively... including my own native culture.

lion head My first 'jumping' blue ribbon and trophy

On the twelfth of January, 1974, I placed first in the Florida Lake Country Horse Show's "Maiden Equitation" hunter-jumper class, riding "Friday's Luck," my first pony. For more about him, read the next 'lion.'

This was my very first blue ribbon in a jumping class, and thus was also a tremendous thrill for me! Interestingly enough this was also the prettiest silver tray I received, out of all my wins. I've still got it, of course, even though the ribbon turned purple with age long ago. ;-)

lion head Friday's Luck, & Revka of Anatefka

Lucky and Revka (REEV - khah) were two of my horses. Both were problem or 'trouble' horses when I got them... and by the time they were sold or taken by someone else both were well-behaved and wonderful rides. Both made great teams with me, at different times in my life... I was very proud of each of them. Odd though it may sound, I still miss them -- they both had profound influence upon my life, and taught me a great deal about living well.

lion head Princess & squire in the SCA

In the SCA, I can style myself as Vicountess Ursula Katze of Trimaris, and squire to Sir Bronislaus of Vilnius (hope I spelled that right ;). While it is the squire's belt I am most proud of, since that's the one I earned by skill in force of arms, I'm also pleased that I could serve as the second princess of the new Principality of Trimaris.

lion head My Sweetie!

Okay, so I didn't do anything for this one... it's more his lion than mine. He basically hung around quietly and was a dear friend until I finally got clueful! That's him hugging me, in the snapshot. He's pretty marvelous too -- we're coming up on our twelfth (update: fourteenth now! ;) anniversary of togetherness, as I said earlier! ;-)

lion head The first pre-calculus grade

This one you've already read about, if you've read the background on this page. Yes, I was both stunned and thrilled -- it was a great confidence builder! ;-)

lion head Shooting

I'm very pleased with this lion. Initially I was nervous around guns, didn't know anything about how to properly handle them, was intimidated by the recoil, and thought they were just too loud! When a good friend of mine finally talked me into going shooting with him at the shooting range, my aim was simply atrocious, due to how badly I flinched at the report and recoil when firing.

But I realized I was doing this -- flinching -- because I was afraid. I decided I certainly wasn't going to let a silly tool scare me, nor was I going to let fear run my life... so I forced myself to continue going shooting, despite my initial dislike of it.

I realized I'd overcome my fears the day I went shooting and not only enjoyed myself... but also, out of 31 shots with a Nagant, put 27 of them in the two central rings of the target -- with 22 of those 27 in the center-most ring! Yes, I'm quite pleased by that -- not too shabby for someone that used to have trouble with even hitting the darned target! ;-)

lion head My last calculus class

It's coming up soon, thank goodness... I'm in my second to last one. When I finish, I'm going to buy myself another lion charm! ;-)

lion head My degrees

This is another 'coming up' lion that I'm working towards. I'm aiming for a sociology minor and both an anthropology and computer science major. Currently I've got all the credits I need for the anthro major, and lack only 2 more classes at UC Santa Cruz to have the first set of degrees... and I'm working on all the prerequisites I can get from DeAnza Community College for the CS degree, which I'll be getting from San Jose State. When I get them all done... there'll be great rejoicing! -and I'll have another lion charm or two. ;-)

Update: Graduation for the Santa Cruz degrees was June 9th, 2001 -- huzzah! Much glee! I made it, with honors in the major! ;-)

I've been asked on occasion how I can be so brave, or how I can be so calm. The real answer is that I'm really not that brave, or that calm. It's a mask, and a good one... because inside sometimes I really am frightened and stressed and upset and scared. But I have a few things I do to help myself hold it together.

In regards to things that scare me, I strongly believe that fears are there to be overcome -- that they who refuse to face and vanquish their fears have instead been overwhelmed by their fears. Action conquers fear... when I realize I am afraid of something I force myself to do that thing, to understand it and master it and eventually... to no longer be afraid of it.

When it comes to staying calm, I have a simple mantra I repeat to myself. I used to be a surgery technician for a very busy, multiple-doctor animal hospital. It was vital that things go precisely right -- because if they didn't, some poor animal could DIE. Compared to that, there's not much else that stressful out there... and that's where my mantra comes from. When I'm getting anxious about an exam, or about something in my life, I mentally repeat to myself, 'if I don't do wonderfully with this, is anyone going to die?!' So far the answer's been 'no'... and if that's the case, why worry? ;-)

As far as coping with stress, I make sure I do things that I enjoy, that make me happy, in my free time. I have a simple mental barometer for that also. Things I do in my free time should be things I think are fun... if it's not fun, why am I doing it? That's how I keep control of my life. That, coupled with blatant honesty to the folks I care about, makes it easy to be calm, or brave, or whatever. In a society as easy as this one, life's too short to waste it living in fear.


Last Updated: Mon, August 06 2001