The best riders don’t jump out of bed everyday with energy and enthusiasm. Ask any of em... I have. Everyone I spoke to told me there are many days where they had aching muscles, things weren’t going so well or they didn’t have the desire in the moment.
One of the differences between them, and those that don’t succeed in achieving the same goals set for themselves, is that they still showed up. The still showed up for their horse, their workout or their partners. The still showed up in the face of pain, fear, frustration and anxiety. They still showed up knowing that they may to get through a full ride or workout, but they were there and ready to give it their best shot anyway.
Your already ahead of the game simply by being in it.
This has been ringing in my ears lately. With a book to be written, assignments to complete on time, and running a business, the horses can often be the thing that is left to last. Even though they are what brings me joy, and drives my passion for learning, they still get put to the when I get time pile.
The thing is, unless I make time, there will never be time. I had to go through my day and rather than hope for another hour in the day, find another hour by looking at something I did that I could replace with riding. Then all I had to do was show up.
Once I was out with the horses the rest took care of itself. I remember thinking that the horses were way down the paddock. My horses live in 100 acre/40 hectare paddocks, so when they went to the top of the hill of over the back it could take 20 mins just to walk out to them. It was a pretty convenient excuse not to ride when I was busy or not in the mood.
However, the horses needed to be ridden so I simply broke it down into two chunks. If I only had to catch and saddle, would I? Yes. And if I only had to ride, would I? Yes. So I only caught and saddled, and then I only rode. The funny things is, once were in the saddle, all the pain or worries are gone. Your just in the moment doing what is needed for them at the time.
This is helping a young horse I am currently starting under saddle too. He is a tricky character and I am needing to take things slowly with him. Some days I feel like we are going no where, but then I think back to the week before and look at the massive improvements. You never quite know what horse you are going to get on a day to day basis, he could be sensitive, over reactive and explosive or he could be calm, confident and content. You just never quite know, so all I can do is show up. Show up and be who he needs me to be in the moment. He’d be an easy horse to give up on, but if I show up with the idea that every interaction and moment to develop our connection and his education is a good thing, then it I’m able to keep the momentum.
I do this when going to the gym too. I like to go early with a great couple of gals who inspire and push me to work harder. But, there are days where my muscles ache, I have no energy and my eyes just won’t open. All I think of then is just get in the car. Preferably dressed, but I’m sure if I rocked up still in my pyjamas I’d still be working out! They wouldn’t hold back. If all I have to do in that moment is get in the car - that’s achievable. The rest takes care of itself. I also have the mantra “I always feel good for working out” and I do. I have never regretted one yet. Even the ones where I virtually dragged my sorry butt out to the car, and only managed to work at 60% of capacity, I still showed up. I still make a step forward even if it was incremental.
Most days I bounce out of bed and am excited by the day. Most days I can’t wait to get on the horses. Most days I am excited and inspired by the work that I get to do and the people I get to work with. But on the days that I’m not - nothing changes. I depend on the fact that what I do has become habitual, my body and mind know that I will show up and the rest will take care of itself.
It’s the accumulation that counts. Not the one off, big show, all in or nothing mentality that gets us ahead. It’s the consistency. It’s the day in day out, mundane stuff that matters. Yes, don’t get me wrong. I am all up for taking massive action when necessary, but 9 times out of 10, that action needs to be backed up - daily.
So, when you next feeling like not doing what you know you need to be doing, just show up. Step in the ring and go from there. Show up like this is important to you, and at the very least you are going to throw another pebble into the well. You will be amazed by how much energy you have, and what you can achieve simply by being there. Trust me - you won’t regret it.