Surreal

Lately I’ve found myself too busy to stop to think (and write blog posts). But when I do find time to take a minute, and I look at what the past few months of my life has unfolded into- and what the next few months hold potential for.. it all seems very surreal. I’ve had many opportunities lately that only remind me how lucky I am.

Let me explain.

We know I’m a very goal orientated person, whether I set them consciously or not, I am constantly being driven to achieve both my small and larger scale goals. I have also had the experience a few times of having to adapt or modify goals because of life slamming my original plans down. Which means I approach many of my bigger life goals with the attitude that they are allowed to evolve and change with time. Change, after all, is a necessity to life. So, when I reach the point where those big goals I set years ago are starting to actually happen, and ones I didn’t know I had appear– it equals a somewhat “I have to be dreaming” feeling.

All the areas of my life having been moving consistently in the direction I’d like them to. The past school year brought me a vast skill set at a solid network of students and faculty. My leg is pretty much back to normal after the accident, and I’ve been able to get back into a more regular training routine (on and off the horse). I am able to run, and 5k seems to be my limit at the moment, but I’ll take it. I’ve started more agility and plyometric training to coincide with my return to jump schools with the horse.

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My riding is the best it’s ever been, and my horse is consistently proving to me that all the years of hard work I put into him were worth it. In my last session with C I got the massive compliment of “huh, your eye is really good today! I’m impressed!”. If you know C, you know sometimes her compliments are far and few- so hearing that sentence from her was a big boost! Every time I get on I feel like I’m ready for the next step, which is why this year we have plans to spend a lot more time in the jumper ring and are hoping to make it out to Alberta later in the season.

This past week I did my first biomechanics consult for a rider (a regular to my weekly strength and conditioning class)- on which I will write a more detailed post later. It was a blast! Very cool to be able to put my knowledge into practical use in a new way. The class that used to be only a pipe dream for me is moving out of MORfit and outdoors for the summer as I take it on as a private instructor. Speaking of surreal, you couldn’t have told me 6-8 months ago that I’d be starting my own business and have me believe you. There is definitely ups and downs with this whole business thing. Quite often I have to remind myself that  its going to take a lot of time to get these ideas off the ground- and the fact that I have the interest I do already is huge. It’s easy to get caught up in the woes of trying something new in a very “set in their ways” environment. However, as much as I get frustrated and impatient- the results I’ve seen in my regular clients after the last few sessions of the class are more then enough to keep me going, and I hope they are seeing the results as well.

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I made the last minute decision last week to switch back to my old football team- Murdock McKay. That was definitely a good life choice. Besides the fact that their schedule will allow me to keep up with my own training, and I already have a good working relationship with Nikki.. My decision was justified when upon arrival at the first practice back I was welcomed by a bear hug from the head coach with a “I’m SO SO SO happy you’re back!!!”, numerous exuberant “Hi trainer Kat!!!!”s from old players, and Nikki handing me over the keys as the new charge person and trainer for the team. I’ll be busy with spring training until June, but I’m quite looking forward to it. This team has always been good to me, and I don’t see this season being any different. Hopefully now that I have some more experience I won’t be as shell shocked when I’m required to deal with an injury, as now I’m the one who has to deal with it. With a team of mostly brand new grade 9’s, it’s definitely going to bring a interesting season.

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Stocked up- I’m sure I forgot something..

With football, and my 4 other jobs (Horse Connection, teaching assistant at the University x2, MORfit, and my rider mechanics work) I am kept quite busy.  My scheduling has to run like a well-oiled machine, but I’m finding value and feeling valued at each position. As busy as those things keep me, I’m still blessed enough to have time to ride my horse, do my own training, spend time with my friends and the great guy who appeared in my life (again.. surreal). I can afford to eat, get around, and ride. I’m so close to finishing a long degree and continuing to pursue more goals within the field. I’ve found a path and made my way down it. From where I’m standing now, I think I picked a good road to travel- even if it has it’s bumpy patches.

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Full Speed Ahead

Well hello.

Since I wrote last I’ve been enjoying a little down time, with semester ending and work slowing for a brief period. I’ve had time to reset and begin filling my schedule for the summer months. I spent the past weekend in a Soft Tissue Release certification- which meant that when I wasn’t performing the techniques, I was getting them performed on me… bonus! Perfect way to rejuvenate!

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I had my first riding lesson back since the winter off and my accident- and it went very well! C had us working through a gymnastic (x to vertical to oxer) and then a single vertical to a diagonal oxer. By the end of the lesson we were working over 3-3’3″ jumps quite easily and Willard wasn’t pulling his usual “first jump school of the year excitement antics”- behaving quite calmly and listening to my direction. Some things I noticed in the tack this lesson was my ability to maintain a good position, not fall forward in anticipation, keep my leg on and ride confidently to a good distance–every single time.

This really shouldn’t be a surprise, because while I haven’t been in the tack much over the last 8 months, and even while having a very broken leg, my AT and I worked hard towards improving my posture and positioning outside of the tack as much as possible while rehabbing my leg. Last weeks lesson was a definite sign to me that those plans are working. Now that I am not bogged down by exams, I’ve been able to begin running again (!!!!), and have regained my usual motivation towards exercise and training in general. Huge relief! I was starting to think it would never come back!

So what do I have planned for the next few months? As usual, many many things will be on the go. Next week I begin spring term, and while I will be taking 3 courses (2 online), I will also be for sure a teaching assistant for one (Anatomy) and possibly a second (First Responder).  Besides this I switch to day shifts at MORfit, to accomodate my school schedule and my football schedule- which starts the second week in May. I am planning to work with Vincent Massey this year, but am also welcome back at Murdoch McKay if I decide to go back to that team. Still debating that decision. I’ve gone back to work at Horse Connection as an Instructor, and will continue with them for one session a week until they wrap up for the year in June. In late May or June I will start yet another job working as a photographer for a local real-estate agent Mon-Fri throughout the summer, and will also likely be a casual support worker with St. Amant to supplement my income.

I am currently working on some research ideas for the summer that tie into my Equestrian Training class, and will be offering biomechanics/position consults to riders in the next few months as an aside to the class. I am quite excited about where these ideas will take me- and very happy to have a knowledgable professor backing me every step of the way. I am hoping to run clinics on a variety of topics for riders, including injury prevention as it relates to position, performance enhancement, and how a rider’s position impacts the horse’s body. Of course tied into all these clinics will be tips for riders on how to improve their ride and overall health both in the saddle and out. I wouldn’t be a Kin student if that wasn’t tied in there somewhere!

My regulars working through one of our total body strength days!

My regulars working through one of our total body strength days!

Outside of work and school- I will be continuing to progress in my own training both in and out of the saddle. I would like to work towards a couple 10kms this summer, as well as get into that Jumper ring. There is serious consideration being put into heading out to Alberta later in the summer to compete with the McMullan team- and it is a good motivation tool for training hard early in the season. I am not planning to do any shows in May- as both time and funds are limited at the moment, and I just won’t be ready to compete this early . I also am not sure my leg is ready for a full show in the early season either, after last week’s lesson I was living proof of how much force travels through a riders joints during jumping- man did I feel the impact for a few days afterwards! One of those things that will improve with time, for sure.

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I’ve also gotten back on track with the clean eating (GF/mostly DF/sugar free (as much as I can)). Over the last few months of the horrid winter and exams, I fell hard off that wagon- and noticed huge changes in how I felt as a result. Now that I am physically able to get back into serious training, the diet has to follow. With the exception of the treats that are always left at the barn to test my willpower- I’ve been doing very good the last while, and am feeling much better for it!

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That’s about all the news I have for the moment. Stay tuned for upcoming info on my rider mechanics clinics, and related posts! I’m going to enjoy the rest of my slack week until spring term starts next week. Tonight is my last evening shift at MORfit for a bit, as I’ll be switching to days- so I’ll have some evenings free until classes and football begin. I’ve really been enjoying the down time!