So, if you are under 30 I am going to give you a really good piece of advice.
If you want to do a show, do it now.
If you want to do a double weekend Dressage Championship; I beg of you do it now!
The tiredness (if that is a word) that comes with age is not pleasant.
I remember when I was younger I was told by someone my age now, that one day I wouldn’t have the energy of my youth; I laughed at you wise person!!
I was 20 and bullet-proof. Age would not dare come near me. Age would hide in the corner in fear of me as if I was Chuck Norris.
Indeed it was not so!
I am sure that all my fellow 40 year olds and above will appreciate the invisible rocks that are given to you around your 35th birthday. You wake up one day with the weight of some rocks. You can’t put them down. They are just there. That is age my friends. And with age, comes tiredness.
I can remember the good old days though.
Out dancing with friends until 1am and then in the car with the float hooked up at 0400hrs. Three hours was plenty of sleep. I had the graceful bounce in my step that seemed as though I was performing the lead act in Giselle! I miss those days.
Pre-Packing of the float. Pre-packing, Pfft, it was so easy and done seconds before I had to leave. You only ever packed once, because your memory was that good you never had to check if you had forgotten something. Also, you knew that if you forgot something you would be okay and possibly be able to get away with not having it or borrow it from a random stranger.
Now I pack the float four days out from a Dressage Competition and then check it the morning before I go.
I have to have a chair, table, towels (for a shower), coffee and tea supplies (in case their is no canteen), fruit and salads (as I am not longer able to eat the wonders of the Equestrian Canteen’s that I could in my twenties).
I remember I could eat whatever I wanted without a single pound being added to my weight! It was a joyful time 🙂
I’m not sure what to call the exhaustion that comes from competing now.
It’s like I eat a whole Turkey and then I go to a comp.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m excited, but I just want a groom, a stable hand, a Personal assistant if you will. 🙂
I feel that if I had someone to go buy my horse feed and sort it into the appropriate bins; clean my gear; bath my horses; wash their rugs and balance the cheque book I could then have some of my twenty-ish energy back for when I compete.
I was so tired the last time I finished. I had left home at 4.45am and gotten back from Queensland around 5:30pm. I had ridden three tests, warmed up for an hour or so, helped pack up the Arena’s and taken my horse through the tick gate at the border.
I fell asleep two hours after I got home and had the best night rest of my life.
I never sleep well, but after a competition I sleep like a baby.
I’m not complaining about aging, au contraire, I am grateful for aging.
I just wish I had of listened, as now it can get tough living in the real world and not just the dreamy world of me competing on my Unicorns and eating Cupcakes.
I guess this is where mental stamina has to over-rule physical stamina and for me I am lucky to possess a strong will and well let’s be honest obstinate mind.
If I set a goal, I reach it. I will not settle for anything less and without a time machine in my possession I have no option but to find the energy to get my goals done at 40.
Meanwhile, I have been so motivated by the eventers I follow that I am taking my Moo, my Mr Potato Head to his first Cross Country event on November 4 at Armidale.
I can hardly wait and I will find the energy to do this.
As for aging, well it gets us all. I see my retired horse Billy, who is almost 28 walk with a slower step and not so much of a glint in his eye as in his youth; but he gets on with it. Animals have a sense of acceptance that us humans have to search for and learn. It doesn’t come naturally.
Despite my aging and the tiredness that comes with it, I know aging is a gift and even though I am a little resentful I am truly grateful for it deep down.
Happy Riding & Keep Smiling