In recent years, I’ve developed a bit of a “food problem.” It started in college, like it does for many, when I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and it was all mere steps from my dorm. At the time, I never thought: 1) that’s NOT how I ate in high school plus 2) with my horse at home I was no longer riding every day would equal 3) I gained weight.
This gives me a new perspective, and hopefully some much-needed motivation. Sam and I put together a workout plan that we’ve been doing for about three weeks now, which is going fairly well. Unlike Megan, I am not a gym rat and never have been. I hate the gym and I’ve honestly never worked-out with any consistency… ever. Like, never ever in my entire life. Maybe this is part of the problem!
Megan also mentions how horse owners are obsessive about what their horse(s) eat — which for me is totally true. It might not be to the extent she mentions, but I would cut my horse’s grain if he gained too much weight. And I always checked labels when we moved to a new barn to ensure the ingredients were in acceptable ranges. Why don’t I feel this same way about the food I put into my own body? I feed my horse like the athlete he is… why do I not feed myself (also an athlete!) the same way?
In addition, I’ve struggled for with fitness in the equestrian context for a while: the first day of a horse show is usually the day I ride better, because by the second I’m tired. I always assumed this was because I don’t ride very much — hardly ever back-to-back days. But maybe that’s not really true: maybe it’s because I’m so out of shape in general.
I’ve also been struggling with folding and flowing over fences… is part of that because I’m over-weight and not as aware of my body being this size? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that a certain size rider is going to be better. But I am saying that personally, I wonder if my body awareness hasn’t caught up with the size that I am now.
When I ask myself these questions, I obviously have no answer. I do know that in some aspects I have worked hard since Visa passed to accomplish my goal of showing at 2’6″, and I’m still not there yet. I have budgeted until my eyes crossed, skipped out on shopping and eaten in. I have worked through lunch and stayed at the office late to make more money and earn time off for shows. I have religiously taken lessons with an excellent trainer and practiced every arena exercise she has suggested. But the end result is I am still at 2′.
Have I overlooked a key component: my health and fitness? How can I look myself in the mirror and say I’ve tried everything and worked as hard as I could to make my dream come true … when there is something I haven’t tried?