Isn't that some Hippie S%#&?
Yes. Yes it is.
A good friend of mine asked, "OM Riding... isn't that a some hippie sh@$? Aren't you worried that people will think you're not as serious about training competition riders/horses?"
Excellent questions. Those two questions are probably the biggest reason that I "held back" this side of my coaching for so long. Yes, yes... we all know I love kale so I likely didn't do a great job of hiding it (Sorry, Texas). However, the stigma of what a successful up-and-coming Eventer should look like definitely held space in my goals and self-image.
The first thing I changed about my program was that I now work a 6 week- 1 week schedule. I will write more about that and why it worked for me later. The second thing I changed was I added a 2 week vacation in December. Those two changes have helped me find a better balance between my Type-A driven personality and my (our) need to try to find a work-life balance.
It was on my last December trip that things started shifting. On a recommendation from a friend I met backpacking in Argentina, I went to Montezuma, Costa Rica. I went for a surf and yoga retreat and came back with a greater appreciation for how truly life changing yoga can be.
I was literally sitting (read: suffering) in paradise in a yin yoga class when I realized how out of balance my body, mind, and life was. Yin is a special sort of torture for those of us that have many old injuries, a hyper active mind, and a multi-tasking personality. It suddenly became crystal clear that I had been riding without even recognizing my right shoulder physically couldn't open blah blah blah and trying to focus on my "mind's eye" while allowing my thoughts to still was akin to giving a toddler pixie sticks and a sparkler. Oh man. It was worse than I was willing to recognize.
Mango-infused and sun tanned, back I came to Austin Eventing: refreshed, restored, and re-energized. My lessons improved, my students were inspired, my horses were responding better and better under saddle. Until I stopped focusing on yoga and mindfulness. I booked more clinics, added more lessons, went to more shows- because that's what I am supposed to do to be successful. I felt frustrated that the grounding I had felt was being replaced my spinning.
I took a chance and a breathe. I told my groom I was going to do a late start one day and go to yoga before my rides. Et Voila! Next thing you know, my groom was going to yoga with me in the am before our day and shockingly none of my clients fired me. HA. In fact, most were like, "About D#!$ time, Lisa." (note: I have the best clients ever and am truly grateful for that)
Life Lesson: We hold ourselves to a work standard that no sane person would ask of us.
Ok, so now I was breathing again and much friendlier in the mornings. I was feeling more aligned with my self, my goals, and my horses.
My next mental road block: How to incorporate this yogic style awareness into traditional competitive training?
I booked a cross country clinic at Pine Hill that answered that exact question. I would like to share that with you tomorrow
(ha! Don't you hate it when people do that?)