I want to talk about mediocrity and how tired I am of sucking at the one thing I love. Horses and riding- that is what I’m passionate about. That is what gets me out of bed before the sun comes up, consumes most of my free time, and energizes me enough to keep up with the hamster wheel that is my life with two little kids and a job. I am flat out tired of taking little baby steps toward my goal of being a “good” rider. I want to see some progress, like getting the correct diagonal consistently, having a nice canter seat, riding a dressage test from start to finish without totally losing it in the middle, going to a show and not feeling completely inadequate. I’m not discounting the progress we have made, because I think it’s pretty darn impressive considering I don’t have a trainer. What I’m saying is that I’m ready to amp it up and take my riding to the next level.
We all know that riding is about fitness. Riders are athletes just like lacrosse players, tennis players, boxers, triathletes, you name it. We get to sit on another athlete while we do our sport, but anyone who thinks they can perch happily on the back of their well-muscled steed and let him do all the work has got a rude awakening coming their way. The more fit we are, the better we will ride. With this in mind, I have decided to get in shape. Really in shape, like selling-tickets-to-the-gun-show in shape. I’m not going to beef up like a body builder but I’m going to get the body I’ve always wanted (lean, toned and taut).
I decided to do P90x to whip my butt into shape. It’s 90 days of working out 6 days a week. The program is three weeks of working hard, then one recovery week with less strenuous workouts. The cycle is repeated three times. It’s about an hour a day of working out, and it’s intense. But at the end you’ll either be a beefcake or a Barbie doll, depending on whether you’re a boy or a girl.
I am one month into the program, just did my first workout of the second phase yesterday. I have already seen crazy results. The glob of fat around my bellybutton left over from having babies is virtually gone. I am almost back to my pre-pregnancy stomach. My arms and legs are more toned and I am so much stronger. I can do pull-ups! I could NEVER do a pull-up. I was that kid in elementary school hanging desperately from the pull-up bar waiting for the stupid fitness test to be over. Now I can bust out 4 or 5 pull-ups! That’s huge for me! I can also do regular push-ups, no more girly knee push ups. I will spare you the before and after bikini pics- ha ha ha!
I’m hoping that the confidence of meeting my fitness goals will translate into new confidence in my riding. I CAN get into shape, so I CAN ride well. My strength and balance are improving and I’m sure my riding, especially the canter, will improve as well. I’ll keep you posted!