I am not athletic. I’ve always been healthy and I’ve always liked sports but am I athletic? Heck no. I am an equestrian and that’s the only sport I’ve ever actually done. As I mentioned in the About Me- page, I’ve ridden for over 14 years and owned horses for eight years. At the moment I’ve been having a long break from actual, active competing since my jumper injured his leg and I decided to retire him from showing and my young horse is far too inexperienced to really talk about proper competing. My goal, however, is to train this horse myself and reach for the higher levels of the Finnish National circuit.
So far I’ve managed to progress in riding without really doing much else physique- wise. It would’ve been a million times easier and maybe I would’ve gotten further before the injury if I had had some kind of exercise regime on the side but oh well. While my riding ’’career’’ is at something of a ’’halt’’ right now (talking specifically of showing here) until my young horse matures a bit more and becomes ready to be properly introduced into the sport horse life, I just simply felt that how I’ve gotten here isn’t going to get me much further.
Riding horses is physically tough if you want to do it right. You can always ride as a hobby and not really have to sweat but as soon as you start treating it as a sport and start working to better yourself and your horse, it becomes tough. Just merely balancing yourself in the motion and over large jumps takes tons of (easily unnoticed) core strength. All of the preparing and barn work is pretty physical (my arms are pretty big for never really trying to exercise them :D). Despite all this combined to the fact that I do barn work in addition to riding every single day, I’ve come to a point recently where I feel like my condition just isn’t where I want it to be.
I started running a couple months ago after not running at all in a whole year. I’ve done the same thing so many times: I start running and working out and I just go at it at full speed and maximum effort. My record is something like three weeks of running several times a week before losing all interest completely. Sound familiar? I always make the same mistakes: I don’t think at all about why I want to run, I just force myself to do it. I also try to take too big steps at a time and am not patient enough. Last summer this kind of hurrying caused my knees to completely fall apart. I couldn’t walk properly or pain free for a couple months…
This time is different as I’ve been able to avoid those two problems entirely so far. This time I have actual motivation and I know exactly why I want to run. I am not happy with my condition: I’m not happy with how I feel or perform physically. I have taken to the mentality that in order to become a better rider I must not only require my horse to be an athlete but I must become one as well. Not just that, though. I actually want to run. I like running and I want a change. I want to try doing races and reach milestones.
Another great source of motivation for me is simple the desire to achieve something. I’m in this weird limbo- like phase in my life where I feel like I’m going nowhere. I need something new, a new challenge. For a couple of years now, I’ve tried to get into medical school here in Finland with no success yet. This is partially why I feel entirely stuck. I won’t give up on medical school as it is the one career I want. The thing is, the entrance exam is held once a year and it is extremely difficult to get in. If you fail, you have to wait a year for the next exam. Because I’ve failed so many times already but I’m not ready to just give up and try somewhere else, I’m stuck in always studying for the next exam. It’s extremely time- consuming so my life has pretty much been 60% studying and 40% horses for the past three years in a row with no breaks or change to it. Talk about same old same old.
This time I’ve had enough of that. Instead of always failing and just waiting for the next opportunity and achieving nothing in the meantime, I’m making my own opportunities from now on. This constant feeling of failure has had it’s toll on my mental health just about enough now. Hence, a new lifestyle and a new blog. This is the opportunity I’m giving myself and only time will tell where this takes me!
Props to you if you actually read this whole post of pointless rambling! I found it pretty difficult to come up with something to begin this blog with so this was mainly some flow of thought of why I am where I am today and what fuels this ’’sudden’’ desire to change my lifestyle and do something different. Now that I’ve broken the ice a little bit, it’s going to be much easier to continue from here next time. I have a few neat ideas in mind so stay tuned for that!