So I’ve promised myself that I will give my body a break from riding for a couple more weeks as I am absolutely determined not to go back to square one, if I can help it. At the start of our enforced rest, Tag did his usual and worried about why he wasn’t doing anything else other than going in the field and eating, making him lose weight, while wearing a permanent look of panic. Now that we are a few weeks in, he has definitely relaxed into it and although he becomes obsessed with food when he has nothing else to think about, I can tell by his body that he has ‘let go a bit’ – a status which is ringing alarm bells in my own head as it appears that there is a direct correlation between my time NOT spent in the saddle and how many biscuits I eat.
So when the relief of pulling my jammies on and the thought of pouring myself into a pair of white jodhpurs, became two extreme reactions of pleasure and pain, I knew it was time to get myself out there and moving again.
Through a well-timed birthday present of the purchase of a leisure centre membership (yes I did ask for it, no I didn’t hit him with it, no it’s not the same as the time I got an Actifry as a present), I found that the options for exercising were laid out in a lovely colour coded timetable and all I had to do was join in. And although this insight into how ‘normal’ people get their time in is actually proving to be quite fun, there are a few things that should be considered before entering into this world.
- I have no clothes, none whatsoever, that do not start to smell horsey when they reach a certain temperature. As I dug through my wardrobe to find something remotely ‘sporty’ I realised that all my clothes are designed for temperatures much colder than a confined pilates studio and they either have holes in them or quite frankly should have been recycled long ago.
- A pleasant surprise was, that I can still play badminton, a skill honed in my local youth club as a teenager. In a new world of health and safety and colossal insurance costs, I’m sure youth clubs are all but extinct now, which is a shame, because without it there’s no guessing the mischief some of us would have been up to. And although we didn’t realise it at the time, not only did the club leaders deserve a medal for putting up with serious cheek from teenagers, but they were teaching us skills that would stay with us. Case in point, I can still hit a shuttlecock at a great rate of knots.
And as I lay on a pilates mat, with, well pretty much everything clenched, trying to get my legs and arms to move in a controlled way – before the instructor thought I was actually signalling for help – I had to suppress a giggle at how this very serene, calming form of exercise, compared to my usual routine.
Pilates class; got into my least horrible clothes, checked soles of trainers for manure, drive, entered class, lay down on mat, gently exercised, nearly broke into a sweat, drink small bottle of water and sat down.
Schooling session; pull on standard outfit of jodhpurs and long socks (nice ones if having a lesson), hook on trailer, load horse, load tack, start to sweat, drive, unload horse, tack up, ride, scrape soaking hair back into ponytail, pull on coat to hide sweat and make sure I don’t get pneumonia, load horse, drive, unload horse, hay, muck out, feed, unload tack, unhook trailer, sweat again, rug, take long gulps out of a 2 litre bottle of water, eat a biscuit boost, drink 3 cups of tea, lie down.
So ok it does seem crazy in comparison, but to be honest, it is the reason I can get away with eating biscuit boosts, bourbon biscuits and enjoying a big dinner. Plus the fact that I do love it and obviously, in many ways, there is nothing quite like it!
So it’s not all doom and gloom when you spend time out of the saddle, my tack is oiled and my bank balance is healthier, but I do have to admit to mentally planning my first outing and many thereafter! I’ll be glad I did this when I’m in the middle of winter, for the meantime I’ll make the most of my membership to the club of ‘normality’.
#whatsnormal #notputtingmyleglikethat #pilatesroommustsmell #itsnotme #itsmyleggings #wearingjodhpursnexttime