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[RC] Defining Endurance - Beverley H. Kane, MD

The definition of endurance is always relative to the envelope that the
individual is pushing.

Recently I ordered the promotional packet from the Arabian Horse
Association. On one page there is a picture of a woman born without legs and
with only one arm, sitting on a calm (aren't they all that way? suggests the
ad) Arabian. I imagine that at first, riding once around the ring was a
major feat of endurance for her.

For several years, I worked in hippotherapy and therapeutic riding
facilities. One client was a woman with chronic fatigue immune deficiency
syndrome. It was all she could do to endure each lesson merely walking on a
lead rope. At the end of 45 minutes of willful exertion on her part, she
looked as exhausted as I felt after a 50.

For many people w/ disabilities/injuries, fears, or inexperience, an LD is
an Olympic event.

My first 50 was a *huge* challenge and it was never a given that I would
make it.  The 2nd 50 was one of the hardest things I've ever done
physically--5x harder than my marathon. After both 50s, I was absolutely
done in.  I don't know where 50 more mi will come from for my 1st 100, but I
intend to somehow build the strength and reserve. The quote of the year was
Angie saying today, "I started doing 100's when 50's quit hurting very

At the awards ceremony at Tevis, I was struck by the different kinds of
people who crossed the stage--elders, jrs, skinny, fat, buff, flabby,
smokers, nonsmokers, people walking tall & strong, people walking bent and
stiff--all of whom worked hard to be there.

Anyone who goes to the extremes of their capabilities, whether my CFIDs
patient or John Crandell, and certainly all our magnificent horses, inspires
the rest of us to make the supreme effort at our individual outer limits and
call it endurance.


Beverley Kane, MD
Horsensei Equine-Assisted Learning & Therapy
Woodside, CA


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