Quality Control

Ever had those days where the universe seems determined to bring you down, no matter what you do? Emotional roller coster, you could call it. I’ve had a few of those lately, and it’s all I can do usually to remind myself of all I have to be grateful for in my life. It’s been a amusement park of a year for me, so far, and if I remember correctly last fall I was going through an equally rough time in my first couple months over seas and really could not see how any part of it was going to get better soon. But it did. By the time I got back to Canada six months later I had experienced so many ups and downs and turnarounds that I was able to hit the ground running almost as soon as I got off the plane. Since then I’ve been going full speed ahead. Lately I’ve been forced to slow down again and one might say I’m not handling it well. Which when I think about it, is not something that should bother me as much as it does. This time I’m spending in recovery is really not going to have that much long term effects on my life after its over. In a few months time I doubt I’ll even think about it much. I probably won’t even have a hugely visible scar. I guess the worst part about this recovery time is that I have too much time to ponder about this, that, and the other things. My friend, who coincidentally just returned from her own NZ adventure, expressed having the same problem of having too much thinking time while she is home a lot of the day and still searching for employment since her return. This can be good, or it can be bad. Right now it’s the latter, through no fault but my own. I get easily frustrated when it comes to my body. And lately, it’s given me plenty of opportunities to become more frustrated. I never really wanted this surgery, however minor. But, it was the best option- I think.  I knew recovery was going to be hard for me, but somehow I underestimated how hard. Past that, I’m still struggling with hip, back, and shoulder problems that seem to linger no matter what I do to remedy them. Right now, they are worse then usual- because  my regular stretching and exercises are impossible due to recovery. If you have read my posts over the past year you’ll know that this has also been similar to a theme park ride, one second these injuries are getting better and we’ve found something that helps long term- and then it’s all flipped again. It’s easy to see how if one thinks about stuff like this for too long, it would lead to frustration and a less then ideal mind set.

What should I be thinking about? I have lots to be thankful for in my life. Parents who support me, wonderful friends, family, and coaches, an amazing horse, overall great health, the opportunity to get an education in a career path I love, and so much else. I’ve had the chance to travel and do things many people my age haven’t. I have so much to look forward to. It’s hard to see through the bad when it’s physically all you can feel. Perspective is what it comes down to. And after the day I had today, I’m realizing I need to check mine. After all, am I really complaining about having time to be lazy and relax during the summer? Who does that?! All that negative stuff in my life is going to be there after I’m recovered. And I’ll be in a much better place to handle it later on, probably. It’s too easy to get stuck in a dark place. I’ve done it too many times already. I don’t often get a chance to slow down with my schedule. I shouldn’t be spending it being grumpy and wishing it was a different way. It’s out of my control, and I can’t change it now. All I can do is make the best of what it is, and remind myself of all the good things.

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.





If you have me on Facebook, you will know that I’ve had a rough week.. and me and this whole “laying low, recovery, not doing much”, is absolutely driving me nuts. Surgery itself I’m sure went smoothly, however we learned that anesthetic and me don’t mix well..at all- and morphine does not work on me (unless maintaining the pain but crashing my stats is the plan). The first couple days after surgery were easy because I slept for approximately 20 hours a day. By Sunday I had stopped taking pain medication, more because I hate pain meds and less because the pain was manageable. On Monday I had an MRI for my back and hip, which was probably the most painful experience of my life- as I had to lay on my back where I still have stitches- for 40 minutes and try and stay perfectly still. About 10 minutes in I started praying I would pass out. I didn’t, of course. By Tuesday it physically hurt to lay in any position. Not because of the incision site, but because I’d been laying still for so long my body was protesting. By Wednesday I was up the wall with boredom. I love reading, but I can only read so many books before I completely lose all concentration. I hit that point by the third day into recovery. In 7 days, I’ve gone through 6 good size books. I’ve probably watched more TV in the past week then I have in the past 5 years, and I’m even sick of napping. How is that possible?! Going from being so busy I don’t know what day it is to not knowing what day it is due to lack of a life is quite the transition. But I know its for the best. Proof of that came on Monday after my MRI, I couldn’t function. The whole 3 hours I spent away from the house completely wore me out, granted I was in horrible pain for part of the day. Tuesday I spent around the house, and it was my registration time in the afternoon- and after fighting with scheduling for 2 hours- I was really not feeling good. Seriously, if I did anything but stay still I got dizzy, and nauseous. Thankfully by Thursday I started feeling better. This weekend I spent at Lake of the Prairies, doing some fishing and a lot more reading. Tomorrow, finally, I get my stitches out. And this week is starting to look a bit like my old schedule. Which I am ever so grateful for. I’m not sure I could handle much more laying around the house.

As I mentioned earlier, I am finally all registered for classes this fall and winter.  And I did achieve a B in my anatomy class (!!!)- thank heavens, I wasn’t sure where I was going to fit it in if I needed to retake it. My schedule is pretty packed full. In the winter semester I’ll be in classes 6 days a week. Not really surprising, though, knowing me. This week I start back at work, which will hopefully take my mind off of not riding. I figured that I would be able to handle the riding withdrawal as I spent 4 months earlier this year doing just that- not riding, by choice.  But I forgot how hard it is. It was equally as hard back then too. Hopefully it won’t be 4 months before I’m in the saddle again. I caught myself getting teary watching people ride horses on a tv show the other day. Really. Also going through some serious exercise withdrawal. At least last time I took a break from riding I could do other things to keep active. Right now though, I can’t even stretch my lower body. Which does not feel good. Actually, my SI joint has been decent this week. Probably because I haven’t been riding. The real problem is my hip, and glutes. They are very hard to stretch when I can’t lay on my back and I’m laying on my stomach all the time. So very excited for when it doesn’t hurt to lay flat anymore! Soon, soon. I’m realizing that I apparently only have patience when working with horses, or coaching. In all other aspects of my life.. not so much.


Beachy Keen

*insert usual line about being busy, time flying, etc..

Legit had to go back and read my last post to remember what it was I last wrote about! But here we are, two weeks have flown by. Last time I was writing about studying for exams while and a show and stressing over course schedules for fall, and fitting in as much physical activity as humanly possible before surgery. Exams are done, so are shows for the time being (not for long if I can help it), courses are planned, and ready for me to register- fingers crossed that I get into the sections I want, and surgery is less than 12 hours away.

Lets start with exams. Because it’s probably the most exciting part, for me anyway! I still don’t know my overall mark for the course- but I do know my exam marks, both bell ringer and written. As you may recall I was a bit worried about the bell ringer, and my instincts were right on that. I got a 35.5/60 which is a 59%. I was still above my class’ average, which was 32. The exciting part is the written. I scored a 138/170 (81%!!!), well above average, which was 108/170. I quadruple checked to make sure I was reading the right line of scores, because it’d be embarrassing if that wasn’t actually mine. But it is! Yay! We know where my test writing skills lie! I also did very well on the last quiz, which is how I felt afterwards. So hopefully between all that I get over a B in the course!

Next up was Beach Party horse show. After a very rushed day of pre ops in Winkler, where I was told I was disgustingly healthy (by my own mother, lol), we headed straight for warm ups at the ex grounds. It was hot, and the ground was hard. But my horse mustered up enough energy to be a star- all weekend! Each one of our courses went great. Of course a few mistakes, horse and rider, here and there- but over all I could not have asked for a better show. Again it comes back to both our confidence, and therefore ability improving and things really starting to come together. The highlight for me would have to  be placing 2nd in my Medal class on Sunday. Medal classes are equitation classes and have one round over fences and a flat class judged mainly on the rider. I’m pretty sure this is the highest I’ve ever placed in a medal class, which was a huge boost for me and proof of how far I’ve come over the past couple years. It was so great to be able to go around courses this weekend and know that my horse was there with me, taking me to the jumps. Both our instincts have made leaps and bounds over the past year. He trusts mine, and I trust his. Of course my eye isn’t perfect yet, so we still find some awkward spots. But we’re consistently getting beautiful distances, and staying on a nice rhythm around the course. We’ve turned into a real team this year, and its great to finally be seeing some solid progress.

After the long hot weekend, you’d think the last thing I’d want to be doing is any sort of exercise. WRONG! I crammed in as much as I possibly could this week. Monday was kick boxing, Tuesday was one on one volleyball, and today was tennis. My shoulder and back aren’t quite pleased with this. But it was so worth it, even in the heat. Of course I rode yesterday and today as well, and I’ve found a wonderful young up and coming rider who has agreed to hack Willard for me during my time off. Which will make my goal of being ready for Fall Harvest in late August very plausible.

Tomorrow is surgery, and I opted for general anesthetic instead of the spinal option. Because frankly I don’t want anybody going near my spinal cord with any sort of needle and I hate the idea of A) being awake for the surgery, and B) not being able to feel half my body. Crossing my fingers they stitch it, because that makes recovery much quicker and easier. Overall just not thinking about it because it’s out of my control anyway. Not excited at all for t3’s, as I really do not like pain killers in any form- but I’m sure that will change once I want sleep. I’m well stocked up on books and work to entertain myself, and already have a busy month ahead of me. Looking at my calendar it would not appear that I’m having surgery the way it’s scheduled. But, that’s the way I like it, right?

Here is some video of my rounds over the weekend!