Often when I drive everyday to Frog aka the Ginger Wonder horse, the magnitude of what I’m doing and trying to achieve, quite overwhelms me. I question myself. I doubt myself. I wonder if I’m doing the right thing.
It starts when I muck his stable out and continues as I huff and puff my way around the arena. I ask myself “what have I got involved in”?
These questions are on constant rotation with bouts of logical reasoning that remind me “this is for Hannah, your are raising money for sick kids, this is a child-hood dream, we are #kickingcancersbutt!”
After many years of study in yoga philosophy questions like “what the hell am I doing?” arise when we are on the cusp of a journey, new project or trying something different. These questions are the key to unlocking the courage that resides in the heart to keep going. And yes, they will make you question everything about what you are doing even as it hums with the vibration of rightness.
I understand this and still I resist it. My battle has been wondering if I’m actually able for the task to complete an 80cm event this year in the Wobbleberries Challenge.
Full disclaimer. I have never evented nor have I looked after proper competition horses before. I grew up around quarter horses and the music of Willie Nelson. The closest I got to eventing was watching it on TV during the Olympics in Canada.
It’s been a few months now of driving 20mins every single day through every element of British weather to muck out, ride and do his feeds including the dreaded hay-net. It’s been building arm muscles that would make a pole dancer proud.
The learning curve has been overwhelming to say the least; I’ve gone from knowing basic horse care to getting a college equestrian education in just a short few months. There have been painful days in the saddle encouraging my legs to bend around the horse and a constant rotation of bruises in all sorts of places.
My desire to dump this challenge isn’t because I don’t want to do this, I truly do. I understand that the resistance is the very wall asking to be climbed over to see what a person is capable of; it’s just that my wall feels like the puissance.
The wall calls out to you the loudest when the weather is coldest, when your horse gets an unexplained injury, when you can’t feel your feet or your fingers and when your body is so fatigued you pass out at 7pm. It will suggest rather loudly you find another job, one that involves warm cups of tea and a desk that doesn’t have hay nets or find people to work with that don’t slobber on your jackets.
I kept slogging at it even when my body and mind were screaming in agony because moving forward to ones goals requires the heavy discipline of the grunt work, the hard labour, the constant application of ourselves during the very mundane tasks we want to avoid.
Mucking out is not glamorous, work every stride is damn hard work and yet, we do it because we feel something within. We feel something that people for years have been trying to sell on TV; it is called fulfillment. Fulfillment is achieved by the dedication and consistency of ourselves no matter what the weather, no matter what the excuse. Even through the sh*ttiest of sh*t days, we do it because it creates the connection to the place within where magic happens.
Fortunately, the wall of the mind does become smaller over time; it will rear its head on those awful weather days (lessons in lashing rain anyone?) but we crack on because the right path does that to you. We work every stride for that moment where all the hard work and effort leads you to a greater experience of yourself. The tapping into ones potential is the great reward, which is why we need challenges in our lives.
Moving away from the yoga world and landing on a muckheap would seem crazy to many but I haven’t given up. I have forgotten the young girl who charged fearlessly into her dreams as she fought her biggest struggles. Changing the mind game is as Nick Skelton said, “you just get on with it” and he’s right. We keep going through all the ups and downs; for myself, that massive wall ahead of me has now become a size that is jumpable and I’m looking forward to seeing that finish line.