In the Chronicle’s new series, we follow various equine professionals throughout a typical day. In this installment, Jennifer Gates took us through her day on March 12, prior to the mass cancellation of equestrian events.
Gates started riding at a young age and moved up the hunter/jumper ranks as a junior. She competed at the Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships three times, earning team gold and silver and an individual bronze medal. In 2017 she piloted Alex to the $30,000 USEF Under-25 National Championship at the National Horse Show (Kentucky). She graduated from Stanford University (California) in 2018 and took a year to pursue riding before starting medical school at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York).
March 12, 2020: With the precautions being taken nationwide around the coronavirus, I am studying remotely from Florida, and all of my medical school classes have temporarily been moved online. Between studying and going to class from home and having family in town for the weekend, it ended up being a busier day than normal. I try to incorporate some days with fewer planned activities and time to rest as well, but this day was particularly packed with fun and exciting things.
8:30 a.m. Wake up! I generally start my morning with some meditation or breathing exercises after some cuddling with Earl before getting ready for the day.
10 – 11:30 a.m. Rode Alex and twinned with Adrienne Sternlicht, one of my closest friends! Then rode [Pumped Up Kicks], who loves to go up on the hill and look around the farm. I also listened to The Daily podcast on the latest coronavirus news.
11:30 – 12 p.m. Did a Peloton workout, something I have really been enjoying lately!
12 – 4 p.m. Lunch, then a few hours of study time and online classes. 4:30-5:30 p.m. Pilates—one of my favorite exercise routines that I feel has helped so much with riding. Since I’ve been studying from home, and all of my classes are online, I have found incorporating fitness breaks throughout my day to be extremely beneficial!
I don’t generally work out twice a day unless I feel particularly inspired or want to take a break from studying. It’s all about balance and finding activities that you enjoy doing. 5:30 – 6 p.m. Had a call with mental coach Peter Crone, on my way home from Pilates. I have been working with Peter for the past two years, and he has been instrumental in my mindset both in the competition ring and in life in general. Mental health and mindset are both super important to me, and I encourage everyone to learn more about yourself and prioritize this. I also meditate and journal regularly—these practices help me to center myself when I experience anxiety.
I have been fortunate to work with various practitioners over the course of my life and have learned that mental health is paramount to success in whatever you are pursuing.
6 – 8 p.m. Had dinner with my fiance Nayel Nassar and his mom, Iman, and then we went for a walk!
8 – 10 p.m. More studying! This time, I had a video conference with a friend to study pulmonary physiology.
10 p.m. – 12 a.m. Since in-person classes have been canceled, I caught up on watching (and synthesizing) lectures on renal physiology before getting ready for bed! I try to take some time to catch up on the day and review study notes at the end of the day.