one day it'll all make sense.

Posts tagged ‘horses’

jack of all trades, master of none

So, the whole idea behind this post is to touch on a topic that came up last week during one of Coach Dave’s morning sermons.  The discussion related back to the ten elements of fitness and the goal to become good at all, rather than an expert at one.

CrossFit workouts train your body in all 10 of these components of complete fitness:

Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance- The ability of the body systems to gather, process, and transport oxygen. Stamina- The ability of the body to process, store, deliver, and utilize energy. Strength- The ability of a muscular unit, or combo of muscular units to apply force. Flexibility- The ability of maximizing range of motion at a given joint. Power- The ability of a muscular unit, or combo of muscular units to apply maximum force in minimum time. Speed- The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement. Agility- The ability to minimize transition time between one movement pattern to another. Coordination– The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement. Balance– The ability to control the placement of the bodies’ center of gravity in relation to its’ support base. Accuracy– The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.

Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

That being the case, growing up I clearly was looking at things from a totally different point of view.  Whenever I came across something that interested me, I liked to dive right in and focus on becoming a specialist.

First came swimming… from a young age I focussed on gaining all the training and badges required to get my instructor’s certification.  So much so, that by the time I was ready for this level, I was still 3 years too young and could only work as an assistant instructor.  Waiting 3 years is an eternity when you are a child.  So, after a little while, I looked for something else.  titan  005I had already started investing my time in to horses, so when I got bored with the swimming, it was an easy transition.  Of note…  I grew up with a single mom.  I was never destined to be one of the “rich kids” riding around on the best pony money can buy.  However, with some hard work and dedication I was able to gain the experience I needed to still have quite a successful go at the world of show jumping.  Unfortunately, throwing your leg over the back of a horse doesn’t come without its share of injuries.  Especially when you become the kid who gets to ride all of the crazy ones.  I was fearless, but with age this just sort of wears off.  When a fall in 2001 landed me with a broken vertebrae and separated shoulder.  I continued teaching, cause that was something I could do while I recovered, but the sands shifted for me and my confidence was never the same.

snowboardThen came snowboarding.  Same deal.  At this point, I had moved in with my dad and his new family and was lucky enough to enjoy a few winters with a membership at a private ski club.  Spent every weekend at the hill.  Self-taught involves it’s share of mistakes, but it was the only option.  Soon, I was certified as an entry-level instructor.  Then came even more time at the hill, teaching old ladies who were used to a casual coast down the hill as two-plankers to let loose a little strapped to a snowboard.

After growing up and moving away from home, I soon discovered that many of the hobbies I had known and loved as a kid were EXPENSIVE.  But the adrenaline junkie in me needed a fix.

mtnbike  006So… mountain bike racing fulfilled that craving.  24 hour and 8 hour team relays to be exact.  Flying down a steep slope through tight single track was quite the rush, but again did not come without its share of injuries.  Not the major kind like the horse fall, but I still have a pedal-bite scar on the back of my calf that will likely be there for life.

K8M_0352And of course ball hockey.  But while I have gone through seasons of intense hockey-packed schedules, this one I will never consider myself a specialist in.  I have been lucky enough over the years to play along side some AMAZING players though.

So now, after dabbling in pretty much everything that caught my attention in my first 30 years, I’ve found something I dig that I can concentrate on without becoming a specialist at any one thing in particular.  :p


Yesterday was not one of my best.  The lack of sleep I’ve been getting over the last 10 nights was really starting to wear me down.  As per usual since starting this round of treatment, I was WIDE awake at 4 am.  Wide awake, staring at my bedroom ceiling in the dark while my mind was racing 1000 miles a minute thinking of all the things I could be doing.  I’ve learned that I can’t will myself back to sleep, so I got up.  By the time I had to leave home to drive to work, I was crashing already!  Literally had to smack myself on the way to keep my eyes open.  Just to make matters more complicated, yesterday was a gift certificate event at my store which left me standing out in the cold controlling traffic for the first hour of my shift.  And I don’t do cold.  :-p  Although I was really not feeling well, I toughed it out until 4:00, when I finally had to go home.  I was tired, anxious and annoyed easily.  Really didn’t want to snap on one of my staff, or a customer!

Anyways… that was just a little back info on where this part I’m about to share began.  While my drive to and from work every day is a long one, it’s also a time I use to think.  This can be dangerous at times, and some of my oh-so-brilliant ideas I would never share with anyone, but it can also be great.  Yesterday, during a time when my mind was over whelmed by everything it has been going through trying to maintain my composure through a tough run, I took the time to reflect.  When I was growing up, going through the typical challenges of being a teenage girl, my solid ground and best friend was my horse.  Fritz was a horse like no other for me.  We understood each other.  While he would jump the moon for me if I asked him to, he would also remind me he had expectations too.  He taught me patience, confidence and a good work ethic.  He was a very talented beast with a huge heart, but he wasn’t against refusing a jump or breaking stride if I wasn’t giving him the respect he deserved.  When my days with Fritz came to an end, it didn’t take me long to realize the special partnership we had formed was not one that I would easily recreate.  To this day, I have never found another Fritz, and am not sure I ever will.

While I had a very successful competition record with Fritz, it was the small things I will never forget.  While going through my moment of self pity yesterday on my drive home, I longed for just one of the long summer afternoons where I would head out to visit Fritz in the pasture.  I thought of climbing up to drape myself across his warm back while he grazed.  Burying my face in his soft coat, and soaking in a bit of his strength and calmness.  While my life has changed drastically since those long childhood days surrounded by horses, the memories are something I will always hold close for the times when I need them the most.  One day I may have the chance to involve those special animals in my life again…

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