I have always struggled with my weight. I played sports successfully all through my elementary, middle and high school careers, and though I excelled, I was still never lean and mean. Sports came easily to me, and I didn’t need to work that hard to be good, so why take it a step higher?
As we all know, with horses, it doesn’t matter how good you are at riding; you have to ALWAYS keep working harder if you want to succeed. Not only are you competing against others, but you are your own competitor. Can I be that much better than I was yesterday? This applies to all levels of the sport. If you want to get better, you have to keep striving to work hard and improve.
When I found Bug, I was searching for where I was going to go in this sport. The fierce competitor in me wanted to shoot for the stars, but I knew that I had a lot of work to do. To cruise along at the lower levels would have been easy for me, but did I want easy? Was this the sport that would actually kick me into gear? Did I love it enough to take that step outside of my comfort zone? Turns out, finding THAT horse for me is what finally pushed me.
When I started riding with Kim Severson, Bug and I had done one or two Training level events. Kim recognized the talent in my horse and started pushing me to catch up. Because Bug is such an extravagant jumper, it was hard for me to stay with him in my unfit state. Finally, Kim and I had a big talk. She basically told me that if I wanted to take myself and my horse to the level that we were capable of, I needed to take a hard look at myself and make a change. She just laid it all out there for me, and it was up to me to motivate myself to make the change I needed to go where I wanted. If I was happy just getting by, I could continue on the path that I was going down. That was a life-changing moment for me, and I am very thankful to Kim for pushing me.
That following January, I took the plunge. I didn’t do anything crazy or have any weight loss secrets. I just changed how I ate and decided to be more active. I lost 50 pounds that spring. Not only did I feel happier and healthier, but Bug was thrilled not to be carrying the equivalent of an extra bag of feed around with me.
I still struggle with my weight, especially in the winter, but I haven’t let myself ever get back to where I was. I am always striving to be lighter, leaner and more fit. If I am going to continue to strive to be at the top of this sport, I have to continue to up the ante in my life.
So, Eventing Nation, what do you struggle with, and how do you find the motivation?