Change the Physical – Affect the Mental

This past week I have, in no way, wanted to work out at the gym.  I dragged myself a couple of days but I only did a half-ass workout each time.  Well, today, I couldn’t get out of it because I had an appointment with my personal trainer.

He met me while I was warming up on the bike and immediately he knew something was up.  He asked me what was wrong but I didn’t have a good answer for him.  I just said I wasn’t motivated.  He thought about it for a minute, then his eyes lit up, and he said “Let’s do something different and work outside!”  Yeah sure, why not.

With the nicer weather, the gym had set up an outside mini gym and that’s where we did the majority of my workout.  And wouldn’t you know it?  I felt a world better by the end of the hour than when I started.  I believe the change in venue erased my bad mood about working out and renewed my interest in going to the gym.

Similarly, I think moving out of the ring helps our horses.  They have to get bored going round and round in the sandbox – some horses more than others.  That’s why I’m glad I have access to a hunt course, which allows us to ride somewhere else but still in the confines of a fence, as well as trails, which I know are relatively safe.  Sometimes a peaceful walk around the field is worth more than another day drilling the perfect figure-8.

Lastly, both us riders and our horses need to be physically fit.  Shaking up our workouts and our rides up by doing something different helps us and our horses avoid fitness plateaus (think climbing a hill on a trail ride vs. the flat arena).  But it’s so easy to keep trying to fix what didn’t go right the day before.  “If I could just try it one more time!”  In our pursuit of perfection we sometimes get in a rut.  I hope I continue to remember that taking a step back may really be a step forward.

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