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Pak Across the Pond – T-Minus 2 Days

Remember those old school Super Mario games, where if you stood still too long the edge of the screen would start to push you forward? Even if you tried to run backwards, the scene would just keep marching on at a steady, unrelenting pace.

I’m not sure I’ve ever fully appreciated what a great analogy that is for life, until this very moment. Here I am, two days away from getting on a plane, and I’m furiously digging my heels in, pushing back on the edge of the screen and hoping for just a few more hours in this day. But time, as it’s wont to do, marches on, and the scene progress. Ready or not, the Games are coming.

Now I realize that probably all sounds quite dramatic. And it’s not that I’m not beyond excited at the prospect of landing in jolly old England before the week is through. I’m beside-myself excited. I’m giddy. I’m downright intolerably happy most of the time. What I’m not excited about is arriving in London with a hot mess of the wrinkliest clothes in the world because I ran out of time to finish laundry and packing and OMG I haven’t ordered my Dubarrys yet and WHERE HAVE ALL MY SOCKS GONE? I KNOW I OWN SOCKS!!

(Breathe, Sarah, breathe.)

Want to know the secretly hilarious part? As dramatic as I’m being about the timing, and as tight as the timing truly is, in true SmartPak fashion, we’re still making time for all the fun stuff in life. I spent a decent chunk of time today working on lyrics and choreography for a top-secret upcoming video shoot (more on that later…) and managed to find some time to coerce our Director of New Media to Photoshop a guinea pig’s head on to a dressage rider’s body (what?! that totally counts as “new media”).

But there’s actually a story to go with that part. And it goes like this: This morning, Emily, our Marketing Coordinator, came in and informed us all that Good Morning America aired a segment on some manner of guinea pig calendar today (I cannot confirm this, but I do take her at her word – she’s a huge GMA fan (yeah, she calls it “GMA”) and she would never lie about them). In any case, one of the images in the calendar was apparently the following treasure:

That’s fine, no big deal, just a shot of a guinea pig jumping out in the Grand Prix field. Too bad about the rail, but other than that, nothing to see.

BUT, it doesn’t end there. Apparently, the correspondent went on to describe this photo as “dressage,” which she indicated was “basically another word for horseback riding.” (Apparently somebody doesn’t watch The Colbert Report…)

Naturally, we could not let this injustice stand. Dressage had to be recognized! So I asked Bjorn to work his magic and within twenty minutes I had a properly doctored image which I gleefully tweeted off to the folks at GMA. (Please note that our guinea pig had the good sense and decency to dress for the occasion.)

I’ve yet to hear back. I wonder why…

And so ends one of the last distractions I had lined up for the day. I suppose now there’s nothing left to do but face the music and start the packing. Oh, and probably buy some socks.

Stay up to date on the latest London happenings by following @SmartPakerSarah and @SmartPakerColby on Twitter!

Sarah Paull

Sarah Paull is a lifelong rider and SmartPak’s Brand Manager. You may know her better as the life-size foam finger from the London Olympics, the host of USEF Network’s Live from London coverage, or “that girl from the Stuff Riders Say videos.” Prior to joining SmartPak in 2008, Sarah worked as a Veterinary Technician at B.W. Furlong & Associates in Oldwick, NJ, and obtained her degree in Equine Science from Centenary College. Sarah is the proud mom of Cody, a semi-retired, 23-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, and she’s currently looking for an eventing partner to help her get rid of all the extra time, money and energy she doesn’t actually have :-) If you're interested in her often-horsey, always-odd musings, follow @SmartPakerSarah on Twitter.

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10 comments on “Pak Across the Pond – T-Minus 2 Days
  1. cathleen hunzeker-dougherty says:

    A. Most of we now,sorry indoor types call the program GMA. Perhaps one of our spokespersons should call the Asst. Producer of programming. I feel that a well turned out pair such as those pictured should be given air time.

  2. Becky says:

    I saw this story on GMA and actually took the time to rewind the DVR to make sure I really saw what I thought I saw! Good job on the correction.

  3. Ann Ezzell says:


    Where’s the HELMET?!?! You guys missed a good chance to promote safety.

    Tsk, tsk.

    (Although I do bow down to Bjorn’s mad Photoshop skillz.)

  4. may I use this photo on my blog? (I think I should ask permission)

    • Sarah Paull Sarah Paull says:

      Hi Lauren – you can absolutely use our photo on your blog, please just give us a link back to and a shout-out to my London Twitter coverage @SmartPakerSarah.

      Thanks for asking!

  5. carla freeby says:

    Lots of giggles for us equestrian minded.

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