There is something about Horses..

Image

There is something about animals in general, dogs, cats, all animals but to me there is something extra special about horses. They are elegant, beautiful, patient, loyal, forgiving, powerful and perfectly engineered specimens of nature.

I have always been connected to horses in someway. When I was really young all I wanted was a pony, I poured over breeds of horse books and every time I wished upon a star or full moon it was for exactly that. My dream seemed impossible, about as far as that moon and star were away from little me staring up at them. None of my family had any interest or link with horses. I had a few riding lessons so that my parents would shut me up for a while but it didn’t last long due to money restraints or parent boredom. It only  reinforced my dream.

I never did owned that pony but I kept wishing on that old moon/star, (it sometimes takes a while for wishes to come true you know. Never give up) I never gave up! Then late into my 40’s I finally realised the dream and took charge of 1, and then a few more of these incredible creatures (you can’t just have 1!)

For the last few years I have been horseless once again and I just know something has been missing in my life – I had not been on a horse for about 5 years but last month I went into the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors and booked a ride. I felt a bit rusty but 5 minutes in it all came back and I felt I had never been away. Today I have one again returned and loved every moment. These beautiful, gentle, creatures are calming, exciting, and enlightening and I love having a silent dialogue with them as I ride and get to know a new horse. I can only say I feel I am home!

They say a great horse-person can hear a horse whisper, a fantastic horse-person can hear a horse think and they do so like a chat! Image

Image

.

Advertisements

No Manbeast Here!

IMG_1150_edited-1

OK now for something completely different. Taking a break from National Poetry Writing Month (Napowrimo) because I am really not that good at poems etc.

However I am good at Boxing and Kickboxing!

Ever since I took up boxing at my gym several years ago I am hooked, excuse the pun. As well as being a great form of exercise it is so much fun and the time goes so quickly that you don’t even think of it as exercise. I do padwork which means I have the gloves on whilst a personal trainer wears protective pads and calls the shots or routine.

So no, I don’t ever get a bloody nose or a knockout, although I do come away with bruises the size of tennis balls when we kickbox sometimes. The stress busting qualities of hitting/kicking those pads is awesome. I have been told my left hook is something to be feared (well I am left-handed so it takes people by surprise). My trainer tells me he’d call on me on a night out if there was ever any trouble!

Which brings me to the man beast question. When I first took it up, my almost grown up daughter asked in aghast why on earth I would do such a manly sport, it was embarrassing and I would start looking like a manbeast (Aren’t kids lovely!) She said that some of her friends went to the gym and they might think I was weird and manly and odd and…….You get the picture.

So sure I was a little crestfallen but did I listen, no way, it is far too much fun, the stress buster qualities are phenomenal, I am toned and fit, my confidence has soared and I feel like I could take care of myself if I had to. Who needs Prozac! Oh and I don’t think I’ve turned into a manbeast. Whats not to love about it? I do the other stuff at the gym too but my favourite is always the boxing.

So did my daughters friends see me at the gym? Sure I was spotted, her friends comment was something along the lines of ‘Saw your mum at the gym the other day, boxing, wow she’s really good, that’s so cool!

Now it seems to have taken off amongst women all over and the most amusing thing is that at least 5 of her friends now also do boxing, including my daughter, I laugh and tell her to be careful, she might turn into a manbeast…..fit, toned, healthy, confident young lady!

Try it sometime!

IMG_1149

Do something that scares you every day! Go Skiing!

DSC_0101  Isn’t that one of those dittys/ that go around that is supossed to enhance and challenge your life? It seems a bit much  to say ‘every’ day, maybe once a week/month would be enough to stimulate the grey matter and get the endorphins circulating. However on our annual ski trip that’s exactly what happens. It scares the bejesus out of me in various degrees EVERY day!

This is my 4th year skiing, this time we are in Avoriaz and as everyone knows the older you are when you start the harder it is. We all watch in awe at the little dwarf commando skiers age no more than 7 whizzing down the slopes in a stiff upright but oh so confident manner that put us oldies to shame. However they are young, have no fear, have a very low centre of gravity which means when they fall they are pretty much already on  the floor!

I take the arbitrary ESF lessons and end up with the inevitable  crusty old french guy who churns out the standard lines every week. ‘Follow my line!’ Yeah that’s fine if you are next in line to him but 7/8 people back in the snake means you can’t see or hear him so you are pretty much on your own. If he speaks English it is a bonus. So it’s a case of go with the flow and do your best.

So day 1 – 3 is Ok (after all I have been in level 1 for 4 years!) I am cruising at the top end of the class. Then Day 4 hits and we go on steeper slopes.! The fear kicks in and all the good techniques and form are replaced by the survival/’get me to the bottom of this mountain the size of Everest at any cost’ stance = BAD!

Day 4/5 is the wobble day when I struggle with the decision of jacking it all in and spending the rest of the week in the gym/spa.
avoriaz

The afternoons are taken up with leisurely ski trips and frequent vin chaud/hot chocolate stops with the OH who has learnt (the hard way) to ply me with platitudes and to big up my skiing skills at every occasion in the deperate hope I won’t throw in the towel and leave him without a ski companion in future years. It’s a fine line!

If I get over the wobble (which I have always managed thus far) day 5/6 are challenging/scary testing lessons but (once over) Oh so exhilarating! I feel good, alive, like I cheated death again and feeling invincible!

I have made progress in small steps, I feel good about myself for holding in there and I definately did something every day that scared me! Tick!

I end the week with a sense of relief, achievement and feel good factor. I cant wait to get home to my comfort zone. Will I be here next year! Of course, it you don’t scare and stretch yourself every year/month/day you will never experience the satisfactory high of knowing you came through and conquered a fear!

I might even manage level 2 next year! Go for it!

So this is the scenario every year, and every year I get a bit better and a bit more confident, this year I tackled a red run, that must be progress.  I wasn’t too petrified.DSC_0128

I have a love hate relationship with fear, I can never let it beat me and without it life can be dull and too safe so I’ll keep to my motto: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway! Its worth it!   DSC_0108