It is 10:30 on a Saturday night, and I just got home from (one of) my jobs. I’m trying to get ahead in the office so I don’t have to worry too much when I take the YOLO impulse vacation I booked after getting home from Sinead’s wedding.
*I highly recommend this method if you are like me (never, ever take vacations, ever).*
There is always a reason not to take a vacation. Just like there is always a reason not to go to the gym. And there is always a reason not to eat healthy and not to splurge on the better food choices. There is always a reason not to ask questions, not to try harder, not to do something right now or today.
The fact that there are always reasons not to do something isn’t strange. What is strange is the logic behind this thought process of choosing to abide by the nots, even when we know better. We all want to be active and healthy and super-productive. We all want to leave behind some sort of legacy we can be proud of. But we are not always on this path. WHY?
Sometimes when I crave Yophoria—the most awesome place ever, which happens to be really close to my house—I get real pissed. Why, Megan, Why? For the last year you have traded your social life for the gym, you eat more cruciferous vegetables than Peter Rabbit, you have all these lofty physical goals that are within your reach, so WHY the hell do you still want to eat a pound of beautiful creamy frozen yogurt with coconut, Butterfingers, kiwi, carob chips, and hot fudge? Why won’t my conscious and subconscious get on the same page?
I’ll tell you why. Because Yophoria is the gateway to the gods. Also, humans are fat bastards.
In Pursuit Of Truthiness
There is something about the Polar Vortex that really takes a toll on the self-control. If I lived in Minneapolis, I think I would be 674 pounds and real angry about it, too.
In January, I had the most amazing trip of my life. It was spent on a beach in Mexico with my best friends not working and getting tan and flirting with a fine print of a Mexican man. All of those things in one sentence? Mind blown.
Coming back to the Vortex? Depressing. We are talking real-life depression. I have even started taking a Vitamin D supplement. Actually, by now I am taking about 10 different supplements a day because I have convinced myself that the Polar Vortex is killing me and my creative genius.
Take the worst winter ever and add the fact that my 29th birthday is looming. I have never really been one to fear 30, or any age. But I have to admit, by now I expected to have more than $10 in my savings account. On a positive note, I’ve started to recognize signs that I’m learning about life and myself. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed—almost like I have too much information and I don’t trust my decisions. But what I’ve begun to focus on is trying to be as honest with myself as possible. There’s nothing like a looming turn of a decade to make you evaluate where you are, what you’re doing, and who you’re becoming.
In general, we’re all just here trying to navigate through life. We hold onto whatever pieces of information we can along the way that we think make us happy. Most of us have found that in horses. Sometimes I wonder if horses really make me happy, or if they’re just something I understand, and therefore I’m happy when I’m with them. Or maybe that’s the same thing? What I do know is the day they no longer make me happy, I’m going to go and do something else.
Waste: The Ultimate Sin
I believe strongly that the worst thing anyone can do with her time is waste it. I have real anxiety about this, which is annoying, because ironically I find anxiety a waste of time. It also makes me sad when people incorrectly define what “time well spent” means. Yes, I have issues with control as well.
Regardless, what you do with your time and your money should benefit you in some way. Sometimes spending money on extravagant things is beneficial. Right now I am on a plane to Miami for what I like to call my Vortex Secret Escape Inaugural Writing Workshop.
I impulsively booked this trip for several reasons: One being it is really cold in New Jersey, another being that I work 16 hours a day on 67 projects and my head is going to explode, and one being YOLO. As well as the off chance that I’ll meet someone who owns a yacht.
I really need a change of scenery. Let me tell you, as excited and lucky as I am to have nine horses in my barn all for me to train, the inside of the indoor at Autumn View is starting to look more and more like Hell. Going on four weeks of no turnout and -5 degree temperatures, the horses and I need a little time apart.
And so instead of continuously bitching about it and making everyone within a 50-mile radius miserable, I booked a flight. My intentions of this trip are to do some real soul-searching. (Searching that for some reason cannot be done in desolate New Jersey during the Ice Age.)
When You Lack Motivation, Seek Out Inspiration
I do know that I spend my entire life lying to myself, as we all tend to do. And what sort of life is that? I know people who are terrified to jump yet insist on eventing. But why? Why make yourself miserable? Why work so hard and spend so much money and time doing something that keeps you up at night?
We are all guilty of lying to ourselves at some point or another. I lied to myself for about three years there that I was still a natural blonde. The day I admitted I should go dark was a day that mirrors everywhere still celebrate.
My Guru told me he had a client try MBT for a month, and she lost nine pounds and loved it! But she couldn’t really fathom spending the money to continue using the product, so she quit. Why? Because she is lying to herself. I imagine she thinks she learned what she needed in a month and was inspired and believed she could do the rest on her own. I think this because I also thought that several times.
We often get comfortable, self-righteous, defensive and proud, but are still unhappy or wanting something else. It is the same logic behind those who spend $100 on drinking or shopping in a weekend, but can’t bear to part with $4 for fresh produce. Or the people who have $400 Tailored Sportsmans, but can’t splurge on a good farrier and a saddle that actually fits. All of the pieces are there, right in front of us most of the time, but the hardest part is admitting which ones we need.
If you really think about how to spend your time and money so that it benefits you, really and truly, you will be a much happier person.
To me, the most rewarding thing is having someone tell me I have helped them or inspired them to do something. The next most rewarding thing is having someone give me a giant bag of money. And third, eating cheesecake.
Inspiration is the most powerful tool on the planet. With it, we feel as if we can accomplish anything. Without it, we have the potential to literally waste away to nothing.
High-performance athletes in all sports are inspired to become the greatest they can be. But I do believe inspiration affects everyone differently; this is why not everyone is a performance athlete. But I have found, especially in times of struggle—you have to seek out inspiration. What inspired you last week may not inspire you this week. Sometimes inspiration is hidden, and sometimes it is right in front of your face.
I was reading a fitness magazine the other night that had an advertisement for a half marathon. It was 1 a.m., and I had just ordered a pound of PB2 on Amazon. (Warning: just because it’s powdered peanut butter doesn’t mean that it doesn’t make you fat if you eat it in large quantities...)
I decided to visit the link on the advertisement, and before I even realized what had happened, I’d signed up for my first half marathon. Which is really funny, because I really am not into running long distances, and I was previously 100 percent convinced I did not ever want to run anything longer than a 10K. But in that moment of insomnia, I was seeking inspiration. And I found it by committing myself to do something new, different and challenging. Inspiration keeps me going toward a goal when I have absolutely no motivation, and also makes me feel a whole lot less guilty for ordering such a mass quantity of PB2.
So whether you’re still battling away in the Polar Vortex right now or soaking up sun in Ocala, I hope that soon I can find a way to be a constant source of inspiration for anyone that seeks it.
Until then, I am off to find some inspiration myself—on a boat in Miami.
Meg Kep’s Faves:
Listening to throwback jamz: 100% Pure Love, by Crystal Waters.
Eating: Broiled Tilapia, ½ an avocado and some fresh salsa. Also, I’m putting jalapeños on EVERYTHING.
Doing: Switching up my seven-day workout plan to train for my first half marathon. Started Sunday with a 5-miler, mixed in some intervals on the beach today. Stay fresh by changing your scenery!
“Meg Kep” as she’s best known in the U.S. eventing community, resides in Chester, N.J., and works as head groom and manager at Sinead Halpin Equestrian. Meg, 28, is also committed to sustainable avenues promoting good horsemanship and the sport of eventing, and her recent dedication to fitness has inspired her to share her story and help others toward “the path of awesomeness” at MyBodyTutor.com. You can read all of Meg's columns here.