Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Back to work. Sort of.

So lots of people make new year's resolutions involving gyms and fitness...  Not so much my thing.  But it has turned out that as of the new year, my full-time workout no longer exists...  And, well, I hate winter.

I'm sure you can see where this is going.

First, as of Monday, I'm finally working my horse again!  Woohoo.  Her Royal Greyness (credit to Jael for the name -- it suits her this week) is less thrilled.   Monday I figured I'd be smart and simply lunge her.  It was dark. The walk to the arena icy.  She's not stupid -- walked down as civilized as could be.  Entered the arena.  And EXPLODED.  Seriously.

After I got her down from the rafters, I got her going in something that vaguely resembled a circle, occasionally in the correct gait.  Rebecca once described her lunging session as lunging a cat -- I'd steal that line, but cats stop and go to sleep every once in a while *g*   Mine was more trying to direct Sasha after she caught sight of a frisbee-riding squirrel.   Only issue, Lexi hasn't been worked since November.  Yes, you read that right.  Never in my life has a sound horse I've been responsible for had that much time off.  Unbelievable.  But really, when your world turns itself inside out and backwards, riding the barely-broke and very temperamental mare when it's cold and miserable out kinda loses its appeal.

But see, now the world is starting to settle, and show season is only a few months away.  And my horse is definitely not ready to go out in public (they consider swinging from the rafters cheating...)  And I suddenly have a significant amount of free time so...   Horse is back in work.  But not fit.  Not even remotely fit.  So by the time I got her stopped she was thoroughly lathered (did I mention she's exceptionally fat and fuzzy?  Yeah -- kinda looks like an overgrown Thelwell). 
Yup - seems about right
Lex gets cooled out and left to dry while I teach.  Hours later she was *finally* dry and could be groomed and blanketed for night.  She was sound asleep by the time I finished blanketing >;-P

Tuesday -- had a lesson.  Yeah really.  Miss mare was *still* super high about being in the arena but also clearly tired so the edge was off.  Much shorter lunging session which didn't involve any true insanity and I hopped on.  As Miss Mare is clearly unfit, focus was entirely on her pilot.  Ummmm perhaps I should've mentioned the pilot was rather unfit too.   I don't think I've ridden more than once or twice -- for probably ten mins each -- since the last ride on Lexi.  Hop on to show somebody something or fix a problem.  But no actual *riding*.  Hmmmm.   And I lived off cookies and chocolate for three weeks.  And then did nothing but sit around trying to stay warm for one.   Oops.

Lesson was *amazing*.   Fixed a lot of tiny details.  One of the best I've had in months.  But I was beginning to fear how I'd feel the next day when half an hour after dismounting I was already sore.  hahaha   Oh and Princess?  Made her dislike at having to work when tired *very* well known.  I was less than amused.  Can't really blame her, but still.  Sheesh.
Seriously.  I'm not exaggerating.
Fast forward to Wednesday.  Now Lexi legit needed a day off, so after ensuring she'd be turned out for the day she got left to complain to her friends and enjoy her round bale.   I, however, am not so smart.  You see, I was resenting how quickly I got tired after riding and have been pretty down lately, so decided I need more exercise.  And I hate winter.  And I'm not *really* ready to go back to mucking stalls if I don't have to...  Sooooo only option left is the gym.

Yes, you read that right.  The gym.  Not just my favourite pilates studio (product check:  they're awesome -- if you're near Oakville and interested in yoga, pilates, or spinning -- go there.) but an *actual* gym.  Like with machines and everything.  Oh dear.

Now after the previous day's lesson my legs were a little sore and my abs definitely feeling it, so I wasn't going to be up to much of a fitness test, but figured I'd at least stretch a bit and get loosened up.

Right, you're not new here.  Now several of the machines I don't know how to use, so I intelligently avoided those.  At some point I'll get somebody to teach me to use them.  Did about ten mins on the elliptical to warm up and the first eight or so were brutal.  But then the lactic acid in my legs went away and I was fine, so did another ten.   Actually warmed up.  Sweet.

Did a little bit on the ab ball because, well, my abs were sore so clearly they needed more work.   Then a bunch of arms and upper body work -- those were all good.  Had to laugh at one of the older style machines with actual weights (as opposed to the stack where you move the pin).   Clearly it was set for somebody much larger than I.  For a laugh I tried to move it the way it was set -- I could lift myself off the ground and it didn't budge.   I very carefully removed the four GIANT weights and replaced them with two tiny little circles *g*  hahaha awesome.   But then I could actually use it.

Was heading out and saw the old-school rowing machines.  For some reason those always amuse me, so played with it a little.  And then there was a top-of-the line ab cruncher (ummm yeah, sure that's officially what they're called *g*).   On the way to the changeroom.  I had to.  Tried ten lbs.  Stupidly easy -- even tired.   Okay, how bout 40?  bahahaha that almost killed me.  Esp with the machine arguing with me about both range and speed so I couldn't cheat.   Hmmmm back down to 20.  Still pretty easy.  30?  That's probably right.  Except by now pretty fatigued so just finished one set and left it at that.   Walked a lap or two on the indoor track, just cause, and left it for the day.

Thursday, I couldn't get out of bed.  People say that all the time but it wasn't lack of sleep -- for some reason I slept reasonably well....  Imagine that ;) -- I woke up ready to go, went to roll over, and I actually heard my abs mock my effort.  Sorry lady, that's just not going to happen.  *sigh*  In the end, threw a leg off the bed and let gravity do its job.  Less than graceful, I'll admit.  More resembling a bad comedy routine actually.  Somehow navigated to the shower and set it to scalding to try and unfurl my muscles.  Brutal.
Don't kid yourself -- I was *not* this graceful.
And time to work the horse again.  Who looked at me like I must be joking.  She wasn't wrong.  hahaha settled for an easy, short, stretchy lunge session.  Seemed a good compromise.

Friday, the day after the day after, I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised.  Abs still sore, but not nearly as bad as the day before -- I could actually breathe *g*  One of my favourite things to do actually.  Had to visit the accountant (reality still interferes occasionally) so had time for one of gym or horse.  Her Royal Greyness was less than thrilled with my choice.

Now, to be fair, I suspect she's legitimately muscle sore -- since I am too -- but such is life.  And first thing I noticed is that certain muscles are only sore when you sit on the horse *g*   hahaha oops.   But so be it.

To set the stage.  The arena door was frozen open. Kids were playing with Sasha in the distance.  Loudly.  Other boarders were leading horses in/out (note, all of them chose to ride in the arena where the door actually closes... Imagine that >;-p).  And I chose not to lunge.  All things considered, she was amazing.  But certainly not a horse I'm ready to take out in public *g*   We had some awesome power trots and a random "I can't do anything but canter! Must. Canter. NOW!" moment. ummmm okay... It lead to a beautiful canter and a puzzled horse who kept looking over her shoulder as though to see what I would do about this.  hahaha love it. And then the nappiness came back *sigh* All sorts of bouncing around, but the reason I suspect she's feeling it a little is that it was really low key. Like she *wanted* to have a temper tantrum and deposit me in the nearest pile of manure, but was just too tired to expend that much effort. So instead of bucking and rearing we got what felt kinda like cantering in place *g* That being said, she's worked four of the last five days when before that I hadn't sat on her since November...   So there's hope -- while it wasn't pretty, it was far less ugly than the meltdowns she was having in the spring.  Good pony.

AND I even got to ride Lissy for a bit -- *she* was a little superstar and made me appreciate what it's like not to have to work quite so hard.  Someday, that'll be Lex.  Preferably sooner than later :)

And now that I'm getting some exercise again, I'm feeling much better, far more energized, and the world is good.   Just need to catch up on some sleep now and I'll be set :)   And then I can finish my second book...  And do a massive house cleanse...  And design our new xc course...  And lurk cheap vacation sites...  And, and, and...  Yup -- I'll be taking it easy :)

Looking for work in March if you know of anything ;)

“Many years ago, I resolved never to bother with New Year’s resolutions, and I’ve stuck with it ever since” – Dave Beard

It has been a week of chaos. Almost controlled chaos, but chaos nonetheless.  That's the short version.

Christmas was great.  All presents delivered and seemingly enjoyed.  Good time with family and friends.  Stephy even came out to help me get the barn done in record time!  Sweet :)

Boxing day was back to the reality of moving.  Between Chris, my dad, Jamie, Rebecca, Kirby and I we got a ton done.  All the boxes moved and two loads of hay while Jen did all the barn work.  Exhausting but effective.

Friday was a day of just horse care and setting up for Saturday.  Ah Saturday.  That's a day that's been already erased from my memory.  But, just for you, I'll dig deep for the memory.  A ton of incredible people pitched in to accomplish the theoretically impossible.  Several loads of stuff and nearly 2000 bales of hay moved.  True story.  Seriously.

Sunday we were all pretty tired, but the games continued as we moved all the equipment and, more impressively, xc jumps.  Woohoo!  AND thanks to Jamie, also got all the fence boards that were destroyed in the ice storm repaired.  Starting to come together. 

Nice dinner cause, really, by this point somebody else was going to cook >;-P   And, actually, for once, managed to go to sleep early.  Exhaustion counts for something.

Monday morning we moved the last two horses.  Nina wasn't sure she wanted to get on the trailer, but with Rebecca and Kennedy's help, we managed it and everybody arrived safely.  Pleased to discover the power was back on.  Woohoo!  Then...  Can you imagine?  More packing!

Eventually it was New Year's Eve.  Crazy day.  As some of you know, New Year's isn't my favourite holiday.  In fact, most years I skip it entirely.  This year though, I had no choice.  And the timing of the new start was so cliched my editor would never have let it stand.  Sometimes though, you just have to sit back and watch the show.  My parents helped me finish packing and cleaning.  A run to Laura's, another run to the dump, a final conversation with the landlords and we parted for the last time, on good terms.  Not a bad finish. 

I even managed to catch a short nap before going out for the evening.  Yes, you read that right >;-P  A party with Chris's friends -- and sure enough, the first night in years I'm not responsible for night check, I end up in a barn *g*   hahaha but at least it was for a tour and not with any responsibility.   Parties aren't usually my favourite thing and New Year's even less so, but have to say I actually had a really good time.  Quite a pleasant surprise when you go in expecting nothing and end up enjoying yourself.  We had several new year's -- celebrating with each time zone in the country.  I figure I made up for all the last few years in one *g*   hahaha

So then, theoretically, as of Jan 1, I was on vacation.  You read that somewhere right?  Off until the 6th?  Right...  Well I did actually sleep most of Jan 1.  Slept in, had traditional New Year's pancakes, veged on the couch for hours, had a nap...   All good.   But then I was at the barn the next two days.  Classic eh?   And I have a mountain of stuff to do over the next couple weeks.  But mostly set up for what *needs* to be done by Monday.  Everything else is waiting for next week as I'm going to make every effort to actually take a WHOLE weekend off.   You think?   It's a more reasonable goal than five days ever was *g*   Am pretty excited about some of the upcoming projects though.  So that's all good :)

And, I have high hopes, I might actually get to read a book :)   Imagine that.   Or better yet -- write one >;-}

Have no idea what 2014 might bring, but reasonably certain it'll be quite the adventure.  Stick around and see.