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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That familiar-unfamiliar feeling

What a week! Classes are done finally and now it’s just wading through the 5 exams this month until I can shift my focus completely to work and riding (and my spring course..)!

Today I dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s on my new summer job. This job will keep me in the city for the summer. While there is a certain amount of excitement about the job itself, and the experience it will give me, there is also a feeling quite similar to one I had frequently while overseas. The being outside of your comfort zone and growing up type feeling. Something new, something exciting, something maybe a little bit scary? It seems ridiculous to compare the two- staying in the city for the summer, somewhere already pretty familiar to travelling across the world, alone. But, is the first summer I will spend away (away is dramatic- its only an hour) from home. It seems to be eliciting some homesickness-like vibes.

So much of this past year has been about putting myself outside of my comfort zone- taking on the unfamiliar and the scary- and finding out where it takes me. That unfamiliarity is almost normal. Its starting to seem that just when I get used to one thing, I find a new challenge to take on. That’s what pursuing higher education is about though, right? Sometimes its not even an unfamiliar challenge that pops up- it quite often is something familiar to me, a challenge I have dealt with and worked through already, but presented in a new way. Demanding that I re-look at how I faced it before and develop a new game plan for how to deal with it now.

Those who know me best know that I love taking on a challenge. Which is why, although the unfamiliarity of stepping outside of that comfort zone is usually terrifying, I have been consciously making the effort to do it more and more. I can’t lie, it is completely exhausting, deflating, and runs me down some of the time. However, the changes I have noticed in myself as a student, friend, athlete, young professional, etc etc, show what that effort is providing me with. I am able to set goals and work towards them with confidence, even if the road along the way isn’t one I’ve travelled before.

Everyday is a new adventure, yadda yadda.

That got deep fast.

Apparently there are lots of things floating around in my head right now.

To summarize, summer job= staying in the city= mixed feelings.

I’ve had two rides on the grey beast since moving him to McMullans for some spring butt kicking. He has been exceptional both times. Tonight consisted of about 45 minutes of bending, and transition. His transitions are so so nice (miraculously) even now after the winter off- that is- until about the 30 minute mark when the energy levels start to dwindle. When we started our hack today he was floating around the ring in great balance, bending around my leg like nobody’s business. But as we continued to work- the whole floating thing went down the spectrum a bit, and he relied a little bit more my hands instead of carrying himself. It was good to spend a bit longer with him tonight, to see where we are at in terms of lateral work and general flat work. Fitness wise, he is way above my expectations. The biggest thing for the next little while is going to be reminding him how to balance himself, and getting some fluidity/impulsion back into his trot. And of course reminding my body what it is like to be in the saddle on a regular basis!

Spring is in the air?

I know, I know it’s been basically months since I posted last. To be fair, not much has happened except for the same old burnt out student thing.

The mountains of snow are finally starting to shrink. Slowly but surely this long winter will melt away into what is sure to be a disgusting, sloppy spring. The most exciting thing that has happened in the past few weeks is my momma bear getting engaged, and beginning the flurry of dress shopping and wedding planning. This excitement will, I’m sure, hang around for the next few months leading up to the big day. It gave me some excellent excuses to not go to research methods lecture a couple times. Who could refuse dress shopping over 2-way ANOVAs and factorial design??

Classes are FINALLY winding down this week. Which means I have to, need to, must must must stop procrastinating with my papers and final assignments. My exams are all spread out throughout April, kicking off with my Prev and Care practical this coming Saturday, and kinda average out to one per week. Which is nice. Since I got a regular shift at the gym and AM MOVING MY HORSE TOMORROW SO I CAN START RIDING. (!!!!!)

I’m not excited though. No way. Nuh uh. Totally could wait longer. Totally.

This week brought a surprise Naturopathic doctor appointment (I wasn’t supposed to go until May, but due to a cancellation I got in much sooner). After recreating the last year of crazy health issues for this guy, as he scribbled notes and gave me some classic “you’re-life-sounds-nuts” looks, he came to conclude that my symptoms match up quite perfectly with having a parasite.. of some sort. Which actually might make sense, as I did originally start having symptoms while travelling and working at LC (not the greatest living conditions), and parasites can often mimic appendicitis. It was encouraging to at least have someone give me an answer with confidence. However, further tests are still needed to confirm before going about treatment- all tests which I send in myself (and pay quite a lot for unfortunately). But hey, if it turns out this is what it is, it seems like an easy fix- without any sort of surgery. I am keeping my GIT specialist appointment as well, as it falls close to my follow up with the ND anyway. Definitely grateful I didn’t have my appendix unnecessarily taken out. Getting closer to some answers.. finally!

Good Friday took me out to Brandon for the RMWF. I don’t know what it is about that show- but it feels like coming home every time I go. Especially now that I know so many of the people involved in the competition- and have competed there myself. While it kind of sucked being on the sidelines this year, and only able to spend one day up there- it kind of kick started my riding brain (more so than the withdrawal symptoms I’ve been experiencing all winter). There are many other riders out there, I know, who will relate to the feeling of a kind of magic while watching those lucky enough to compete in that long week of classes ride their courses. Every day is different. One day can go perfect and the next will be a disaster. I’ve always loved the atmosphere of RMWF. It’s a tradition for many of us, whether it be riding or just watching.

Speaking of riding. The season is finally starting! My brat of a horse is about to get that worked out of him. It’s been a long winter for us both- with him bored out of his mind gaining weight and growing a more than adequate winter coat, and me working my butt off in the gym and in the class room. Going into this season I feel more than ready. Last year I was anxious to get back riding but I had the pilonidal sinus surgery on my mind, looming on the future, taking away from the excitement of a great show season. This year I feel completely different. I’ve worked hard to keep my body and my mind on track, throughout a tough school year and lingering health problems. Whatever this year brings, it doesn’t feel as intimidating as it could. I’ve handled so much the past while that it doesn’t phase me much when life throws me something else.

Today we moved the now 3-yr old (and much more grown up) Felix out to another facility where he will start his spring training tomorrow as well. He was such a champ. Walked onto the trailer as if it was something he did everyday, and got off at the new place with dogs running around and a pen full of bison close by in sight and hardly gave more than a snort. I’m quite excited to put a little more time in the saddle with him this summer as well, even though Mom claims him as “her horse” lately.

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Now that I’ll be back in the saddle on a regular basis, I will make an effort to update this blog more often with what are sure to be many fun moments getting back into training! Also I have done surprisingly well keeping my Fitness page updated, so take a look and ask some questions if you want to get you’re own pre-season training started!

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