My reset button is dysfunctional

My how the time is flying.

It’s been a while since I wrote last, and while things have been moving along quick as can be- not much has really changed. I’m still pretty worn out from the past few months, and the last few weeks have been a mad balance between trying to hit reset, and keeping up with myself. I know, contradicting pattern.

Shortly after I wrote last I took an entire three days off of EVERYTHING school related and headed out to Brandon for the Royal Fair. This annual trip is always something I look forward to, and this year I had a teammate and a client competing and got to see them both excel in their respective classes! It was such a nice feeling to physically drive away from the nagging study notes, exam and work schedules for a weekend- sleeping boyfriend in the passenger seat, and passes for the fair ready to go. A big part of me needed the break, and the rejuvenation of seeing a sport I love at a high level.  Some highlights included the numerous visits to the petting zoo and barns with my RMWF rookie beau, spending some quality time with my teammates and friends Lauren and Megg, dancing at the barn bar (leg for sure did not appreciate this, but my head sure did), and eating some disgustingly classic fair food!

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Go Megg Go!

Go Megg Go!

After that weekend I felt a little less burnt out and a little more motivated to keep up with life in general. I came home from the weekend and had to stop at the barn on the way home to get on my horse for the first ride of the year (and my first ride on him since my accident). I can’t begin to tell you how fun that little hack was! Will felt like he’d never been put out to the snow banks for 6 months, and I felt like a new rider. Fair always does this for me, it revives my passion for the sport and reminds me of how deeply rooted my goals are as an athlete. In the week that followed some of that motivation remained, thankfully- as I needed it!

Monday began with a 5:30am shift at MORfit, followed by my first shift returning to Horse Connection as a instructor, and a job interview right after that- then riding both Will and Felix in the evening. I was full of energy, and ready to pick up my study routine (with two exams at the end of the week) for Tuesday, but the Universe intervened and after waking up Tuesday morning with the worst version of the Keystone Centre Cold I’ve ever had. I made it through marking practical exams that morning for the class I was TA-ing for this term (being on that side of the marking table is super fun!) just fine, but by the time I got to MORfit for my evening shift I had also developed food poisoning and ended up both having to leave work (and experience downtown intersection hurling into a plastic bag) to curl up into a ball of discomfort for the rest of the evening. My personal paramedic came to my rescue once again that night and showed up on my door step (with ambulance and partner in tow) to drop off some ginger ale and gravol for me (which wouldn’t stay down anyway). This left me with a day to study for Thursday’s final, and then part of a day to study for Friday’s. Thankfully I still had some motivation in the tank.

Wednesday was all speed studying (and work), and Thursday morning gave me some time to review before my exam. Although I usually avoid cramming as a strategy, this time it worked out great for me with Thursdays exam going by with no hiccups. Other then being that one student in the room who had constant sniffles and sneezes (sorry everybody…). By this point I was running low on energy and motivation, but kept it together for the remainder of the week and got to end off with a lovely ride outside in the crisp air and chat with teammate Megg, who was fresh off a competition week at fair.

While I was supposed to cover football camps this weekend (5:30am-9am), I called in sick as I was legitimately still pretty ill and wanted to catch up on some sleep. Since then I’ve really lost my motivation again for anything involving school work, and been trying to do my best to revive my brain again- to little success. I took today off of next to everything, except for a quick ride on my horse and my regular evening shift.

My leg progress has not really changed too much in the past weeks. Somedays it feels great, other days it feels not so great. I may have a mild case of recovery blues. It really is a day to day thing, but riding doesn’t seem to bug it too much and for that I am grateful. My fear around riding has began to decrease, and I have to give credit to all those around me supporting me every step of the way with this. My teammates Lauren and Megg are the first to 1) relate to everything I’m going through, 2) listen to my ranting and 3) do everything they can to help me out. I’m sure my horse sensed a little bit of hesitation in me and has yet to throw anything my way that would push me over the edge. Many of the conversations had in the barn with Lauren and Megg have solidified that we’re all working towards a common goal and often feel exactly the same way about where we’re at. The frustrations that come with the sport are not ones that are easy to handle alone, so it’s nice to have that network.

With 4 more exams looming, I seem to have taken a very.. uh.. relaxed (I just don’t care anymore) approach. I have little desire to keep up to my schedule at the moment, and have been attempting to scale back on less important commitments so that I can maintain the more important ones with some energy. It does seem at this point that whatever I do to try and “reset” myself, I only end up right back where I was within a few days. I’m constantly reminding myself that I’m doing all these things because I love what I do, even when I’d much rather be at home sleeping or reading a book that doesn’t involve too much science. I’m very ready for exams to be done, and to enjoy a week of no thinking before my spring semester starts.

The realisation that I am pretty much done the second last year of my undergrad is quite motivating. I’m accomplishing long term goals I set years ago left right a centre, and setting new ones that seemed so distant not that long ago. It’s a cool feeling, but also a little bit scary. There’s days where I feel very grown up and ready to take on new things, and even more days where I’m a little bit intimidated by the chunk of life I’m biting off. For right now my focus is getting through the next couple weeks, and maybe even setting up a jumping lesson to push my riding confidence to the next level- and rewarding myself for finishing up a long semester and year.

Here’s hoping the burn out feeling eases off soon!

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