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Re: [RC] This Joy You Feel Is Life - Typef

Today has been one of those days. My publishing deadline looms tall over my head. My tailbone is so sore, it's all I can do to sit here all day long, working on stories and ads. This due to yet another close encounter with the ground from the back of a horse this year. And I have yet to get to a ride even though my first one was planned for January, and I've had to email two ride managers and ask them to tear up my checks. I know I'm not alone. I've had three wrecks, on three different horses this year, one putting me out for two weeks, another requiring surgery and "no horse riding" said the doctor for 4 weeks, (an infected gland caused by a spook causing me to bang myself on the saddle) and a herd of bees over the weekend, causing me to try to dismount while still moving. I would have succeeded if the snap on my reins hadn't broken and hurled me backwards. Wrenched knee, sore ribs and tailbone. The encounter with the ground before that was caused by me trying to be "mom" and teach my daughter's horse how to walk through cavaletti poles. He bolted forward, hit a jump and sprang sideways, leaving me flat on my back. Yeah, that felt good. I'm starting to wonder if I will make a ride at all this year!
Then, I take a break from my work, read this wonderful post and then finally get around to opening my Endurance News and reading "A Junior's Perspective", "What I Learned at 20 Mule Team," "What This Sport Should Be About," and on and on, and I know WHY I do what I do. I know my endurance record might not be long ... a 50 in 1974, and two 25's in 2002 ... but I know it's bound to get longer, even with the mishaps I've had.
Even as I sit here, perched on a pillow, thinking this is the third time in a year that I've been able to hardly get in bed, out of a chair, walk to the barn to somehow feed, (forget about reaching down to pick up that piece of paper that just fell on the floor, I'll get it next week), that ALL I can think about is "Can I make that next scheduled ride in two weeks?" What is it about this sport that has us all possessed? Whatever it is, it's a good thing. Even though my husband wishes I would trade my spirited Mustang and Arabian in for a big Warmblood like his and mosey on down the day trail (which I do also), I'm not yet ready to throw in the towel.
Please join me in a toast to the sport of endurance riding, it's ride managers and crews and all the friendships made and beautiful places ridden. Let's toast the Joy!
Thanks, Lisa.
:) Jackie
----- Original Message -----
From: oddfarm
Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2003 6:52 AM
Subject: [RC] This Joy You Feel Is Life

When I tell people I really enjoy running, they say "Why??". When people find out that I ride endurance, I see the same look on their face. How can anyone ride a horse for 25 or 50 miles? I usually leave it at that, fearing that if I tell them 100 miles is the goal, they will try to have me committed.
I quit getting all my horse magazines and started picking up the Runner's World, Running and Tri-Athlete. Not because I know everything I need to know about horses, but because I forgot what competing alone (no horse) and goal setting for ones self was about. And, let's face it. There is no magazine for endurance training like the human training magazines. Why is that? So the running mags give me incentives for speed workouts, hill work, LSD and those oh-so-important rest days. Both by foot and by hoof.
But is competition really all it's cracked up to be? I just read an article in Runner's World by John "The Penguin" Bingham. He writes about a marathon that actually encourages runners to stop and enjoy the day. Dancing at mile markers, runners in silly outfits, jugglers and the people on the sidelines screaming and cheering them on. Of course the lead runners aren't having that kind of fun, they are running hard and fast and miss everything. They have clocks to beat, PR's to set and miles to count down. He compares the front runners to stars, and everyone else are just extras, like on a movie set. He says the extras run and walk the same course, meet and exceed goals and push the limits, just as the stars. He says of the extras, "We may not make headlines, but we do make headway.". Oh, so true! A mile is a mile, no matter how you did it.
I guess I am more of an extra. That is not to say that I haven't had my share of shinning moments both in running and riding. And I certainly won't pretend I didn't enjoy those moments to the fullest. But like the Penguin, I like taking the extra time to enjoy things. Late afternoon into evenings at the beach, dinner with friends at our favorite restaurant, getting a great massage! I get those same feelings from running and riding without the competition factor. I can't wait for rides to come around so we can pack up and spend the weekend camping and riding with friends and family. I look forward to those long slow runs so I can come home and take an extra long, deep REM, drooling on the pillow kind of nap. Now, that's what I call a goal!
Goal setting, training, racing and doing well at it certainly gives us all incentives and a feeling of accomplishment. But the rest of it is the joy of life.  Take the extra time to do it, because you can.
Lisa Salas, the Odd FArm 

[RC] This Joy You Feel Is Life, oddfarm