Most of you that follow me through here are horse bloggers, and most of you don't understand what this journey means to me and why I continue to document it. As always, I direct my story at the wrong audience...I mean, who else names their initially-dressage-then-endurance-now-life-blog "Wait for the Jump"? (The explanation is here.) And what other horse person out there is into strength training at this level right now and actually wants to talk about it? No one. No one in the blogging community truly knows where I come from nor can comprehend how far I've come. This isn't about the reflection in the mirror; it never has been. Is it cool to look the way I've always wanted to? Well yeah, duh. But that's not important. This is tougher than training for endurance because it is just me and my head: most of the time overcoming the way we think is the hardest test of them all.
The reflection is merely evidence that I CAN: I CAN change the way I think and perceive myself. I CAN make this about enjoying every step of the journey without getting lost in an end goal (because THAT is what "wait for the jump" really is about! What this blog was always meant to be about.) I CAN fit this into a crazy busy hectic life with 8 million other responsibilities. I CAN love myself 20 lbs ago as much as I can love myself now because the human body is actually meant to be imperfect! I CAN wake up every morning to train harder than the day before. I CAN still think of this as "fun" at a point where most people would have given up. I CAN do anything as long as I have the sheer determination to get it done.
So all I see in my reflection is this: I see grit and strength and will. I see the power to go beyond the perceived limits of my body and the ability to recognize that those limits are all in my head. I see that mental hurdles are limitations that I have created myself. And I celebrate little things, little things like having visible arm veins without doing a thing, because it is the one visible proof that I can do all of these things.
I can condition the castaway $1 non-Arab mare to be successful at the 50-mile distance in endurance. And I can mold this body, this body that used to be chosen last for sports and that has been through so much already, into that which no one, not even myself, ever thought would be possible: the body of an athlete, both inside and out. I would say that I can't wait to see how things continue to change, but the truth is that for the first time in my life I am enjoying every canter stride towards the jump so much that I am in no rush to get to the obstacle at hand.
The journey isn't just about reaching your goals. It is life. Life is a journey. Enjoy it. Live it. Celebrate it. The present is a gift.
If I color you with all my thoughts
Would you lose your fears of being lost?
I bet you never even knew
That there's a universe inside of you...