Focused assessment

Holy crap that semester flew by! As of yesterday I was officially DONE all 9 exams, and the first semester of my 3rd year. Half done the legendary 3rd year (aka the year of 9’s). Now there’s time to do not a lot of anything for a couple weeks…

I’m already bored.

I figured since I have nothing really super exciting to write about, since my last two weeks has been completely encompassed by exams and work (aka studying for exams), that I’d take a look at how I did this term on the goals I set at the beginning (in this post).

My number 1 goal for this term was Keeping my nutrition on track. Why was this important? Evidence has shown that I do so much better when I eat right. What’s right for me? All the veggies/fruits, lean proteins, and minimal starch/processed foods (no gluten, minimal dairy, minimal sugar). So, how did I do?

There was a couple iffy points throughout the term.. The first being when I decided to try adding oats (gluten free oats) and dairy back into my diet. It worked great for like a week, until I started feeling like crap again. It only took me a couple weeks after that to clue in that maybe that was why I was feeling awful and tired all the time. Then there was the “I am lazy and I just want to eat all the things” week where I gave up not eating gluten and ate way too much of it. Again, horrible outcome. But then there came the lead up to exams, where I got real serious about all things healthy again (serious enough to basically cut out Starbucks- going from once a day to once every two weeks…), and switched back to exactly what I know makes me function the best. After making those transitions, I was back in the good books with my body- I concentrated better, slept better, had better energy, was happier, and everything fell back into place. So, all in all, I didn’t do horribly- even if it was just proving to myself that nutrition is still important- and this remains a huge goal for me for next term.

Goal number 2… Not over scheduling my already over scheduled schedule. Who wants to wager a guess on how well I did with this?

Yeah, I sucked at this one. HOWEVER. The positions I was outlining in the original post (aka the Older Adults Class) turned out to be one of the highlights of my semester. The other opportunity I said yes to way back then (Horse Connection) also turned into a great experience (and a nice source of extra income when it turned into a paid position). Actually both those turned into paying position, as I accepted a research student position with the Older Adults program and a trainer position with HC. Did I stop at saying yes there? HA. I did learn to say no, too, though. Or at least balance my opportunities better. I learned (the hard way) what burn-out feels like  few times, how to predict it, and how to prevent it. Or at least be proactive about it. So while I did kind of fail at not over scheduling, I did get better at choosing the most proactive way of over-scheduling… Does that make sense?

My third goal was following the work out program I designed. This was a success. Mostly because the initial phase of my program (offseason) was basically not pushing it in the gym. This was easy, as I hardly had time to make it to the gym most of the semester (see above goal comments). I did quite a bit more riding then usual for me during the school year with HC and at M&C’s, consistently went to yoga, and did my best to get to the gym at least once or twice in a week. This is basically exactly what I had designed for an off season program. Chilled out work-outs to recoup from the competition season and stay in shape.

This goal is getting amped up a little for the next couple months, as I’m finalizing the programming for the newest MORfit Training Centre class: Function Conditioning for the Equestrian Athlete. That’s right, I made it into a class and am getting paid for it. Because I have the best boss ever and I love my job. I was amazed by the interest within the riding community I got through my preliminary feelers, and really hope that interest sticks around once it actually gets rolling.

Next was.. Actually using textbooks. Another goal I did not half bad on! And saw some results because of. Of the 4 textbooks I bought, 75% of those I read front to back, and the other one I did read the important parts of. First responder text saved my life, and Assessment (all one billion pages of it) was a huge help as well- same with taping.

I still can’t believe how fast this semester went. And how much I’ve learned in what feels like a very short time. Was it really only a few months ago that football practices were a huge source of anxiety for me? Lets not even talk about how I felt thinking about practical exams earlier in the semester. I started the semester absolutely freezing when asked a question, or asked to do something in front of someone. Now it’s become something I do everyday without a second thought. I’ve managed to become fully comfortable within the things that used to terrify me.

The day before my practical assessment exam, Claude at MORfit had me do a full assessment on a real patient… alone (well, he was in the next room listening and watching my every move). Even a couple weeks ago I probably would have freaked out at him even asking me to do that (he used to joke around about having me run an assessment alone). That night, I somehow flowed right on through a half decent assessment without any problems- and my exam the next day went quite similar. If you had told me three months ago I’d be designing a class to teach this winter, a class that I’ve been dreaming of designing for years, I would have laughed at you. If you had told me that I would feel confident dealing with injuries of all kinds both alone and in front of peers (this used to terrify me most)- again- I would have probably just thought you were hilarious. Yet, here we are. Almost every day at school, or at work I’ve found another reason why I love my job and future career (#nerd).

I managed to face all the challenges I predicted (and some I didn’t) head on, with some freaking out, but always with confidence (often acted). I put into action the theory of “acting confident to become confident” quite a bit this year, and thankfully the acting did become real confidence (insert sigh of relief).

And now to wait impatiently for marks to be posted…..

A super productive weekend.. studying.. (…sleeping)

If one dreams about reading notes and making study guides.. does that count?

This week seemed both really long, and like it disappeared way too quickly. I’m going to keep this one brief, as I can’t really remember many events from the week right now anyway. Here are some of the memorable moments:

  • Coconut pumpkin cashew chicken curry, on sticky coconut rice noodles, courtesy of Wednesday night wine and dine with Emily. Probably the best recipe we’ve made yet!
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  • Walking onto the IG field for our final game on Friday! If you want to feel like a real badass, that is how to do it. Plus, they had sideline heaters. Seriously. I had to compete with players half the game for a spot in front of it.. I lost majority of the time.. because, well, they are twice my size.. BUT STILL. It was super cool to play on the “big kid field” under the lights. Makes one feel important!
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    And so my football season is over. I have Friday’s back, but I haven’t figured out what to fill the time with quite yet. While I don’t have the energy to reflect on it now, trust me- there will be a full katmah style reflective post on football coming soon.
  • Grandpa’s birthday dinner with the famjam. Always a good time when the Rance’s go out. 85 and looking young!
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  • My hair is long! Almost!
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  • Sonny at HC actually listened to me this week. Huh? It’s like we’re making progress or something. We’ve been working so hard on getting the left lead and balancing his canter out. This week we actually picked up the lead with little to no issue. While we did do more bucking then smooth cantering.. the bucking was at least on the correct lead. I’m taking that as a win.
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  • I accomplished nothing this weekend. Besides sleeping. And hanging out with a dog I’m dog sitting. I did open my Assessment textbook for almost 2 hrs today. Whether or not any of the information got off the page into my brain is another story. I also started to study my First Responder text, but then I fell asleep… Soo.. there’s always tomorrow.. right?
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    This coming week I’m looking forward to more studying, and practicing. I live such an exciting life! The countdown is on til the series of 9 final exams hit and my life becomes even more exciting. Can’t you wait to hear me whine about it?!
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My week in pictures (and some words)

Because it’s the middle of midterm season and I am still working on a legit post for you I’ll give you a quick run down of my week in mostly pictures, and some brief words!

Monday: IMG_4658 IMG_4656 Leaves and pizza. Not a bad day, eh? I was late for the older adults class I help run because I was changing batteries in the pedometres for the class (if you ever want a frustrating and tedious job, that is a good choice). Whatevs. Then during my 5 hr break before Massage class, I made almond crust pizza (yes it’s as amazing as it sounds), and had a follow up with my ND- who took away all my grains again. We had been experimenting with adding other grains like Oats, spelt, barley, etc back into my diet. With no luck. I can have dairy though! Which isn’t really that exciting as I’ve gotten pretty used to living without it anyway.

Tuesday:

Spent the morning practicing my taping with my football supervisor (she was great enough to run me through scenario after scenario, putting some pressure on me in prep for my practical exam). Then was in a horrible “dart” accident in first responder class, where my lab partner did an excellent job securing my wound..

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After class I headed to work where I had a quiet evening spent with a text book, and got to do my first forearm deep tissue massage on a client with the AT. Holla.

Wednesday:

During my second 5 hr spare of the week, I did a whole lot more taping practice with my lab partner. Running through some of the same scenarios I did with Nikki the day before.

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Spent some time in the gym with my bff (like omg) Emily and after class headed home for some downtime where I made some cake before heading to yoga class.

Mm, paleo chocolate zucchini cake.

Mm, paleo chocolate zucchini cake.

Thursday:

I don’t have any pictures for Thursday.. it’s always my craziest (but also favourite) day of the week.

Headed for my shift at Horse Connection, where only 2/4 of the kids for the day showed up- so I was re-delegated to doing some saddle time with Sonny boy. I realized that morning that I was living my 13yr old self’s dream job.. as a horse trainer and teaching riding.. and getting paid to do it. #awesome

After work, since I was done a bit early, I went home and ate some left overs before heading to school for class and my first midterm(s) (gulp). Taping and splinting written and practical. Written was a breeze, and although I got a little bit nervous sitting outside the room waiting to walk into my scenarios for the practical (who wouldn’t get nervous in that situation), as soon as I walked into the room and got my first scenario I flipped into “Trainer Kat” mode and there was no looking back. Thank you football for giving me the ability to at least fake confidence and get things done. I feel pretty good about how I finished the practical exam, and I haven’t remembered too many things that I forgot to do- so that has to be a good sign.

After my exam I headed to my second workplace of the day, MORfit. The AT was much busier this evening and he had me do quite a bit for him. After sitting in on an new assessment while stepping out every once in a while to teach exercises to another client, I got to do deep-tissue on plantar fascia and calves as well as another full fore arm massage. Plus stretch out a few clients. My hands were pretty useless after the past few days- taping, more taping, lots of massaging, and writing. Hopefully they build up endurance!

Friday:

One word. UNBURGER. Man I love that place. A classmate and I headed there for lunch after she finished class and I finished getting a deep tissue massage of my own.

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From there I headed home to get ready for football, and when I went to leave for football my car decided it had plans to not start for me. Seriously. After accepting the fact that I wasn’t going to get to Transcona in time to be of much use to the team, sorting out a tow truck and seeing my car get taken away, realizing our game was actually quite close to my apartment, and convincing my roomie to drive me to it- I was back on track for my Friday night. Nikki told me she had a minor freak out when I texted her telling her I wasn’t going to be there for pre-game stuff- realizing she had to tape the entire team alone. It was kind of nice to hear in that context how much I do help! I was glad I was still able to make the game, even though it was uneventful injury wise- it was my first game “under the lights”!

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After football, since I really just wanted ice cream, but had no transportation, I decided to go for a run (at 9:30pm in a storm) to get a pumpkin pie blizzard. Why not, right? The walk back with my ice cream was so worth it, even if I was walking into the wind pummelling me with rain. You gotta do what you gotta do.

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Saturday/Sunday: Let the eating begin! I love thanksgiving.. so so much! And I get two weekends of it!

Sunday also brought a quite productive lesson with my private client. It’s so nice to see her and her horse progress week to week, and hear about the small changes she is seeing in herself and in her horse as the weeks go by!

Over the hill and through the woods (literally)

A weekend in the country is a cure all. Nothing like home cooking, good family, and hiking in the valley with a good friend. Running, jumping, climbing shale walls, sliding back down shale walls, letting minnows nibble your feet in a creek, exploring- relaxing. Just what was needed! Hope everyone out there had an equally awesome weekend!

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It was hot, then it got hotter

Another season has come to an end in the hunter jumper world. And I have absolutely no complaints about anything that happened this season. It was for sure another up and down kind of summer for me, but the consistency I saw in my rides in the shows I was able to go to is truly encouraging- and the way my rides when this weekend at Fall Harvest sums up, as this show always seems to, how much I’ve progressed.

Our warm-ups Friday went by with ease. We warmed up in the hunter ring first, and were probably done in about 20 minutes- everything went so smoothly! C and I were wondering how it was going to go, as the night before during my lesson Willard seemed to have taken the equivalent of 50 caffeine shots. It was a little bit crazy. But, I guess either the heat took some of that out of him Friday, or he actually just chilled out a bit- because he actually acknowledged the human on his back this time. After jumping around the hunter ring, we headed over to the Jumper ring.. Our first jumper school at Bird’s Hill (or anywhere.. usually there either isn’t a jumper schooling or I miss it..). It was pretty intimidating, even with Lauren and Megg there with me. Lauren is an old pro at jumper schools, and Megg was there for the first time on her new horse. My horse surprised me with how well he handled everything. I expected him to be good for the jumps, but wasn’t sure how he would handle the natural obstacles such as the ditch and the bank/table top jumps. The ditch took a couple tries to get him to gallop down and jump out with confidence, but not as long as I thought- and the bank, well, he just loved that! Loved it so much that when we did the table top ride (jump up, three strides, jump down), he decided that it was so much fun he need to buck his way across- hop down- and buck away. Hokay pony. That evening Megg and I went out for a lovely supper. One of my favourite parts of shows is getting to spend time with the amazing friends I’ve made through training with M&C.

Saturday came bright and early with Jumpers beginning first thing. Will and I were competing in the .85m divisions. We went into the ring with the mentality of “ride like it’s a lesson”, and had no major issues. Will loves jumpers. Saturday we placed 4th in our .85 Junior Ami division, with a rail and a time fault. Later that day we moved over to the hunter ring for our Child/Ami Non-Pro Hunter division. We put in some good rounds and ended up top 5 in both over fences and the under saddle. Quite respectable for the competition there, and the fact we’d just come from Jumper land! C was happy, I was happy, and that’s what mattered. It was a great feeling to get out of the heat that night, I can say that much!

Our Sunday jumper rounds were even better then the previous days. In our Open .85, Willard decided to have a good long look at jump 6- so long that he forgot to jump it the first time. This provided us with a great set up for our JA round right after, as it was over the same course. That round was perfect, except for a lazy rail early in the course. Click here to watch it. I decided to drop our Open Low Hunter that day, because it was so hot (+40 degrees, crazy humid, and zero wind), and I could feel my horse’s energy (and mine) starting to dwindle. I wanted to save something for the $500 Hunter Derby later on that day. It was so hot my sunglasses would fog up while I was wearing them. I would be able to cross competing in a sauna off my bucket list, if it had been on there in the first place.

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So, finally came time for the Derby to get started. As myself, a fellow McMullan teammate, and M&C were walking the course- I was informed that I had been misinformed earlier and the class was a sign up order of go (I thought it was posted order, in which case I was in 5th). Since I hadn’t signed up they had listed me as first to go, and were taking no excuses- if I wasn’t at ringside, with my horse (who was still in the barn, untacked) in 7 mintues then I would be disqualified. I am blessed with amazing teammates on my side. Megg and Lauren sprinted ahead of me to the barn and by the time I had also completed the ~1000m sprint (thank god I’ve been doing interval training this year) my horse was ready to go. I had time to just barely take a couple warm up jumps and get to the ring, where M&C instructed me to gallop into the gate (not usually hunter style) and gallop straight to the first jump, which was about 50m inside the gate. So, that’s what we did. The video unfortunately missed the first couple jumps- but the rest was caught- it’s definitely worth a watch!

No time for any second thoughts, we had one of the best rounds I’ve ever ridden. My horse left it all out there for me, and I could not have asked him for anything more. As we came over the last combination, a two stride, I couldn’t contain my smile- and it was so cool to have everyone at ring side burst into cheers. We achieved a score of 88/100 that round, a personal best! After the class of 10 finished- all very competitive rounds, we ended up 4th. Another personal best for us when it comes to special, classic, or derby classes. If there is a way to end a season, that was it!

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So what else have I been doing in this heat wave? Since getting home from the show on Sunday, I’ve been spending my mornings at football practices taping ankles, thumbs, and fingers, covering blisters, abrasions, lacerations, and assessing injuries. Oh, and learning. So much learning. I’m learning quickly to trust my instincts when it comes to this stuff, and more often then not they lead me in the right direction. Classes begin next week, and I’m pretty ready to get back into things. This year is going to be one giant challenge, but I’m excited to take it on. The other thing I’ve been doing a lot of this week is writing- obviously not on here, but a lot of it stemmed from topics I have covered here. One piece was for a scholarship entry, another an article for Horse Country on the EC Hunter Classic, and one more piece as a writing contest entry- all focused around how riding has impacted me in one way or another.

Other events happening next week, my first time covering (or being at really) a football game. In Brandon of all places. From what I’ve heard game days are pretty crazy, but if there is one thing I’m good at- it’s crazy. But, right now, I’m heading into a long weekend. I had the entire afternoon to myself yesterday- which I spent going for a ride with Lauren at the barn (I’m going to miss those this winter!), then with my old friend Netflix at my dad’s. Today I had the entire day to do exactly nothing, and I’m just about to head for another ride while my horse is still this close to me. He moves home tomorrow, where I’ll only be able to hack now and then when I’m out that way and time allows. Sad face. Saturday I do my one work shift for the weekend and then more freedom until Tuesday. I have no solid plans for those days- which is a new concept for my over scheduling brain- but I’m also looking forward to have some time to just chill out before the crazy train hits my life next week.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Flowers, dresses, football, gluten, and competition prep

This is another “week in the life” post. As you might know from reading or even glancing at previous posts, my life has a large spectrum of activities filling up my schedule. This past week was no exception.

Mom’s wedding went off without a hitch (relatively) this past weekend, and it was so great to see everyone so happy and be a part of that joy. All the flowers got picked and the hall decorated by close family and friends- working out to look absolutely gorgeous and a great experience. The food was amazing, and most importantly the happy couple looked fantastic and everyone had an amazing time.

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Aren’t they adorable? Seriously though, it was one of the most gorgeous and happiest weddings I’ve been to (not even being biased). It’s now four solid days later and my feet are still sore from dancing. What I’m sure did me in was trying to keep up with Grandpa- he is much more adept than I am on the dance floor.

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Sunday morning after all the main festivities, the now even bigger family joined together in the age old “pancake breakfast”. Mom even made some gluten free pancakes for me! Even though my gluten free ways took a serious dive the last little while, more on this later.

As much as this weekend was all around awesome, it was also exhausting- however I gave myself no time to be tired as bright and early Monday I headed off to start my latest adventure as asst. athletic trainer/therapist for a high school football team. The first day was quite an adventure! Along with being in a basically entirely new situation for me (I’ve never worked in the field before, or clinic really, but I spend enough time in the clinic as a patient it is definitely more familiar..), the first practice of the season brought some unconditioned athletes, heat, full equipment, and full contact drills. What does that equal? A lot of random injuries and a lot of heat exhaustion. Which leads to a pretty hectic first day! Within my first hour I had assisted with two different knee injuries, at least 3 or 4 cases of heat exhaustion, asthma attacks, bicep charlie horse, and a potential fibular fracture. Thankfully I wasn’t alone, the head trainer stayed for majority of the practice and guided me through everything. I’m also realizing how much the variety of issues/injuries/ and experience from the patients side of the table is going to help me. I picked up on number of things already, without needing any explanation, because I’ve had the same assessments, or diagnosis on myself. Learning to do by doing, as usual.. Needless to say I was a zombie after practice that day. I hardly remember how I got through work that evening.

The last couple days have been a lot less crazy- and I’ve already learnt so much! I’m so lucky to have a great teacher as the head trainer- in any spare time we have she has me practicing taping and talking through scenarios. Much more then I could ever get out of just reading a text book! I’m very glad I took this opportunity- not only is it teaching me a number of valuable skills, but also the extra time I now have (due to leaving my full time job to do this experience) is allowing me to do some much needed catch up. Because believe it or not, I haven’t had time to do the little things- like clean, or cook, or just sit around and breathe. Sometimes the little things are just as important as the big things that keep us busy.

As I mentioned earlier, my gluten (and sugar… and diary..) intake has sky rocketed in the past week. And yes, yes I do notice a difference in how I feel. Mostly due to the gluten and sugar, I think. Dairy doesn’t seem to affect me as much. It all started Friday, at the rehearsal dinner, where there was homemade lasagna and garlic bread. I only had one piece of lasagna, but ate more than enough garlic bread (seriously, I have zero will power when it comes to garlic bread), plus sampling (more like gorging, but sampling is kinder.. lets stay there) both dessert options (cheese cake and lemon torte cake). I kid you not I looked 6 months pregnant when I got home that night. Massive food baby belly. Massive, I tell you. The actual wedding food wasn’t bad (paleo wise), and consisted mostly of meat and salads (the largest variety of salads I have ever seen!). It was later on when things got gluten-y (is it a coincidence that gluten and glutton are very similar words?). With possibly the world’s best carrot cake as dessert- not much was stopping me from doubling up on servings. No regrets.. Sunday morning brought pretty good things diet wise, however Sunday night brought pizza. Multi-grain crust, but still pizza. And I ate all of it, over Sunday night and Monday. By Monday night I figured, hey what the heck, might as well finish off the last 4 pieces now rather then keep the gluten trend going all week (because everyone knows it’s a sin for a student to through out pizza leftovers).

Finally, Tuesday brought time to make something a little more healthy. I found that even though I was eating enough (more then enough) with gluten in my diet- it wasn’t filling me up. I would be hungry half an hour after eating- every time. Which only resulted in eating more, feeling gross, and being hungry again. Vicious cycle. There is something to be said for a diet that focuses on lean proteins and veggies, keeps you feeling good and satisfied, and fulfills your nutrient needs. Not only did the trip off the wagon make me realize that, but it also solidified how much better (energy wise) I am without a whole lot of gluten in my diet. I mean coming off a weekend and week like the one past one is bound to be a bit exhausted- but being so tired you can hardly function? I’m chalking that up to poor nutrition. The rest of the summer my goal is to enjoy all the delicious veggies the gardens are producing, try out some more paleo inspired recipes- and get my nutrition back on track. Especially with Fall Harvest coming up in a few days!

Willard and I did a real jumper themed lesson last week, in prep for the .85m division we are doing at FH. It was a blast! We even popped over the two big scary walls M&C have on their outdoor course- with no hesitation or problems! I was so proud of my boy! Along with the jumper division, Willard and I will be competing in our usual 3ft Hunters as well as the Hunter Derby on Sunday! Very excited for the Derby, last year we had such a fun round and a good round (except that pesky rail). I’m excited to see how we do this year, with so much more experience and consistency going for us. This show is always a little bittersweet, as it is the farewell show for the MHJA season, and the outdoor season in MB. Which means soon it will be back to the books, and missing riding, and the people that come with it. I couldn’t be happier with how this season has gone already, all things considered, and can’t wait to have some fun this weekend out in the park!

 

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Why does this feel familiar?

So how long has it been since I last wrote? Years? Yeah. Sorry about that. You should feel special, though, as I’m choosing to write instead of work on my case study. Because its so abnormal for me to choose writing instead of school work….

I can’t even blame it on being busy. I will, however, blame it on attempting to not be busy. No, that is not a phrase that grooves with my style of living, and yes it was painful to write. I’ve been harshly reminded by my own brain lately that when I try and do too much (my regular amount) that what happens is not in my control. Wait, was it ever?
I’ve been back at work full time the past two weeks, mostly successfully. I’ve ran a couple times, which still isn’t producing symptom free results. BUT, it has been improving. I have hope that one day soon I will be able to run and not have a head ache. I’ve done a couple almost regular strength work outs as well, and those are surprisingly not as bad as running. What else have I been doing? I’ve been making an honest effort to do what is right for me in the moment.

This isn’t new.. I always try to do this, not just after I hit my head.

Doing that, for me, has always been more difficult when my regular routine of insanity and running about from one thing to the next is taken from me. It’s happened a few times, so you’d think I’d be more comfortable with it. Turns out, my comfort zone is pushing myself to the limits of comfort. I’m always looking for more, something new to achieve, or how to better myself. Is that a bad thing? No, it’s an important part of our human nature. If we weren’t always looking for more, for something else, where would we be today? So take away my option to be busy and involved, and I feel lost. It happened to me a few times when I was traveling, again when I got home and had surgery last summer, another time when my second surgery was cancelled (that might have just been more general frustration with the Universe), and now- right after a very optimistic start to my summer, followed by a head injury. I should be the boss at recovery by now.
This time has been different, slightly. Initially it was the same panic and “seriously, universe? Again?”, then it was the acceptance and “fine, I’ll take a week off”, and then it was “okay a weeks over lets get on with it”, and finally the realization that maybe it’s going to be more than a few weeks til I’m “normal” again. Looking back, I’m starting to realize that the one thing that is common in each of the situations I’ve been in where I’m forced to slow down, or worried about the way my life is going, is riding. It was a major factor in why I went to NZ and took that first job. Riding was the reason (one of them) why I left LC finally, because I knew it would ruin the sport for me if I stayed. Riding was the reason I took the next 4 months mostly off being in the saddle, the longest amount of time I’ve spent out of the tack probably ever. Because of that I was able to realize that my love for the sport wouldn’t disappear if I didn’t do it all the time (which was a huge fear for me). Riding (and my new career choice, AT) is what brought me home again.
Last summer the thought of getting back in the saddle kept me mostly optimistic through recovery, and the first show back (and the last show of the year) was one of my best- proving to me again that I can step away and still feel welcome when I come back again. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point- riding is a huge part of what my life orbits around, and what anchors me.
This time, like I said, something felt different. After the initial head hits ground event, I just couldn’t go out to the barn. I honestly did not feel up to it, and I didn’t go out until a week or two later. Even then I didn’t ride. I knew I couldn’t, and shouldn’t. Most of the panic and anxiety for me was around work and school. At first, realizing this scared me a little. Did it mean that riding was less of my life now? Was I losing hold of something that’s held onto me for so long? Then I got on my horse, because I felt ready to, and everything became a little clearer.
I wasn’t supposed to ride until after I could successfully run and weight train. But, in order to be me, I have to bend some rules. I did it 100% feeling ready to. And I’m not just saying that.
Last week I had my first jumping lesson in over a month. I was so nervous. I’d had 3 rides on my horse in the past month, he’d been fresh for all of them, and I was still far from normal. This lesson was going to be my deciding factor on whether to go to the Beach Party Show this coming weekend. All day at work I’d had the worst headache of my life, and I wasn’t feeling very well at all. At the end of a long week.. it had been my second week back full time, and I had also taken on two evening shifts along side my full time hours. I had pushed it a bit. I was so close to cancelling my lesson. When I left the office, my head ache dissipated a little- and I decided that I was going to try riding, staying honest with myself and stopping if anything got worse. Want to know something really awesome? Of course you do. As soon as I sat in the tack, everything else melted away. No headache, no anxiety over money, school, or my health. No excess thoughts. Just the current moment. Relying on pure instinct and learned muscle memory for the next hour, it was the best lesson I’ve had. My horse was perfect, I felt amazing in the tack, and nothing was disturbing that. It was truly one of those surreal moments. C was extremely pleased with us as well, confessing that she was also a little worried about how the night was going to go, but very pleasantly surprised by both my riding and my horse. Needless to say I am planning on competing this weekend, and I’m really hoping the heat doesn’t absolutely ruin me. Look forward to what I’m sure is going to be some interesting days ahead!

What am I taking from this?

You can plan all you want. You can think you’re in control all you want. You’ll almost always be proved wrong. So, what can you do to make sense of it all? Have something to come home to. Whether its a family, a career you’re passionate about, a hobby, or all of those things. I have a few of those things, all which come into play in keeping me grounded at one time or another. Right now, it’s riding. It’s giving me the confidence to relax. To take a step outside my anything but comfortable comfort zone. To trust that things are going to work out. Because they usually do, if you take time and trust your instincts.

Anyway, here are some snapshots for you….

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And some foodie pics!

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Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies. Seriously the best EVER.

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