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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Season of love

Okay, so here is my obligatory holiday season post- expect another one around New Years.

I’ve been meaning to do a post on my experiences with family and friends over this past year- because it’s probably the main reason I’ve made it through the year without completely losing it, and there really isn’t a better time than Christmas time. As long as I can remember Christmas has been about spending time with family and friends- making house calls, dropping off baking, sharing one another’s company, etc etc. It’s time spent with the people who surround you during every aspect of your life- in a variety of ways. The past year or so for me has really opened my eyes to how the idea of family travels past the blood relations, without borders, and can get you through some pretty rough times.

This is the season to really look around you and appreciate what you are blessed with. Some people only have a few to call family, others have many. I’m blessed with quite a few, near and far, who I call family and who have shown me great kindness and love. Finding people in life that accept you for you and support you in wherever your life takes you is irreplaceable. The love I felt, right away, from relatives who only first met me when picking me up from an airport and taking me in for a short time was amazing. Or sat with me in the hospital when I was 10,000 miles away from home. I know my family in Canada was very grateful for all that too. I can never thank all those in NZ who did that for me, and hope that one day I can return the favour. I was lucky enough to spend my first Christmas away from home (and without snow) with NZ family who took me in as one of their own with no hesitation. Because of all those in that hemisphere who showed my love and kindness throughout my stay them, I saw a side of the country that I might not have experienced if I had done the typical travellers thing, or heaven forbid, stayed at my first job there. And during some of my darkest times there (believe me, there was those too), I had amazing support from close friends and family back in Canada. I found strength through those people, when I couldn’t find it in myself. For me, that’s what family is about.

Everyone interprets the meaning of family differently, I think. Traditionally it’s defined as a household with a mother, father, and children and then extended relatives. But for me, it encompasses the traditional aspect, of course, but also those people who have been by my side through different experiences and periods in my life. Friends. Being the busy person that I am, I meet people in many different places. There’s friends that have stuck with me since high school, relationships developed and tested through time spent in sport, training, work, travel, and now University. My mom has always told me that often you are closest to a person at a certain time in life because that’s when you need them, and vice versa. That relationship doesn’t always stay as close as time passes- but during that chapter of your life, it was important and is something to be respected. Time spent apart, and distance travelled can sometimes change a friendship- but a true friend is always a friend. Throughout this year I’ve been surrounded by a variety of people. Some of which I am quite glad I’ll never have to interact with again. But many who I hope are a part of my life for years to come, because they have brought out strength in me I didn’t know I had and reminded me that even when things get bad, they don’t stay bad forever. The stress in my life is truly only manageable because of the great people I have surrounding me. And I really do have some amazing friends and family in my life.

I am so happy to have people in my life that are there for the ups and downs, and am equally happy that I can be there for them through their goods and bads.  To surround yourself with people who keep you striving towards your personal goals is so important. I do not believe true success (however you define that) is ever possible without a base of people supporting you through the trials of pursuing dreams. Life throughs some wicked tests, and even if you’re someone who studies better alone, the idea of having others to compare, contrast, discuss, or even just get distracted with is what makes those tests doable. Sorry for the school analogy. I’m currently in study withdrawal.

All this being said, I hope that everyone out there is blessed with people in their life who bring them you on the bad days, celebrate with you on the great days, and make every day in between worth living. Having each other is the greatest gift of all- and I hope this is something all of you are grateful for this holiday season.