For almost five months, my sister Nancy and I have been training for the Katy Trail Ride. During that time, we also worked on the documentary we’re making about our ride – drafting a story line, researching equipment, and videoing interviews with each other. Now the ride is over and I’m at a loss as to where I, and we, go from here.
One factor in my letdown is that the ride did not go as I envisioned. It’s not that it went badly, just not how I thought it would go. After the training we did, I thought the riding would be, if not easy, at least manageable. And after all the preparation and organization we did for the documentary, I expected us to get more done on that front. I envisioned us videoing and recording at the SAG stops, interviewing each other and my sister’s sister-in-law, whom we want to include in the story, in camp each day, and reviewing the day’s footage every night after we downloaded it from the memory cards.
HA! That didn’t happen. The ride itself was a challenge, even more than I thought it would be. That in turn made it difficult to do all those things I mentioned in the previous paragraph. There were a couple of days where we only had enough energy to download the day’s footage, back it up, and make sure the equipment was ready for the next day.
I’m also feeling letdown because I realize that what’s ahead for the documentary will be as challenging as the pre-ride and ride. Neither of us has any experience with making a documentary, although we’ve said from the beginning that we wouldn’t let that stop us. (Side note: when my other sister first mentioned making a documentary about another subject, she said ‘how hard can it be?’ We’ve laughed about that.) We’ll also be juggling work and changing living situations and the continuing reinvention of our lives and I think it will be hard to keep working on the documentary bit by bit over a period of months, rather than having the luxury of devoting a major portion of our time to it and getting it done quickly.
Along with the fear and anxiety and letdown, though, I hold to something Nancy said during one of our interviews, which is that it will all work out – we’ll put something together with whatever footage we have and it will be good – maybe not good enough for Sundance, although it’s fun to picture ourselves there – but good.
I’m also going to keep using the motto I borrowed from Nancy a couple of months ago: SAG stop to SAG stop. This comes from her first Katy Trail Ride, during which her son told her she just needed to ride – physically, mentally, and emotionally – SAG stop to SAG stop, not 40 or 50 or 50 miles all in one go, but the ten miles between SAG stops. It’s a good approach to what lies ahead.