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August 30, 2011

When Plans Fail

Photo by Susan J. Stickle.

Michael, Vera and I came up with a plan. I would drive up to their place once a week, leave home Monday mid-day, ride both horses Monday night, ride again Tuesday morning, then drive home. It would give me the help I need while still keeping me around for my students, so I'm not sacrificing their educations to bolster my own.

Then we had a hurricane.

I am finding that all my plans are being bamboozled, either by nature or by my own hand, to the point where I'm pretty sure I'm running my own sketch comedy show.

I stepped on a scale a week or so ago and was quite horrified, so I decided to get my eating back on track—10 weeks on the road took its toll. I was going to write down everything I ate and try to stay under 1800 calories a day, in hopes of losing 10 pounds by November for my wonderful friend Eliza's wedding. Then I picked up this week's delivery of fruits and vegetables from the farm share I belong to, which included 12 gorgeous, ripe peaches. And what do you do with peaches? You make pie, of course! And the diet plan went out the window.

As part of said get-in-shape plan, I vowed to get back into running. Between the oppressive heat of this summer and my ridiculous schedule, I've been barely getting in one short (1.5-ish mile?) run a week. Even knowing everything I know about legging up horses carefully, did I formulate a smart plan? Nooooooo! In two days I logged almost 5 miles, then went to karate class… to find crippling pain in my Achilles tendons. I've strained them both, earning me 6-8 weeks on the bench. No running, no karate. Stretching and icing. (I have so much sympathy for horses with suspensory problems. This stinks!)

So today, I kicked my own butt and went to our town pool, in a really neato indoor complex. I vowed to swim for half an hour, in attempt to get ready to take a swimming class that starts in two weeks. 

Learning my lesson from running about starting a new exercise regime unprepared, I figured that since I haven't swam since I was about 14, I should get some laps in before I just (WARNING: bad pun alert) dive into the deep end of the intense fitness class. This was a great idea, except I forgot goggles, and only lasted about 10 minutes before I couldn't stand my burning eyes.

It is truly amazing I made it home from the pool without hitting anything, because that was almost 12 hours ago, and I still can only kinda see. I went to the grocery store, and the little old lady bagging my groceries kept looking over at me with empathy, and I realized it's because I look like I've been bawling my eyes out all day. Nice.

And those are just the silly little things. I watched my friends ride at the Young Horse Championships last week, and I'm watching them gear up for Gladstone at the end of this month, all with great jealousy. I had these big dreams of getting my guys to these big shows. Instead, I think I'm done showing for the year: Fender, Midge and Ella are all still just a little unprepared for what I want them to do, and Tres has gone back to being my mom's horse. I don't have anything left to compete, so I'm putting up my coats and whites 'til next year.

But it's not a sprint, but a marathon. (Sorry, the sports puns are flowing today.) I'm back on the stop-eating-everything-that-will-hold-still-long-enough plan, and I bought goggles today. I'm stretching and icing and watching the calendar until I can get back to running, starting with some nice short spurts. And I'm off to Michael's next week, eager to get going on that New Plan.

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