Midlife Fitness wasn’t built in a day — and sometimes you just need a better architect
Ok, so we’re coming to the end of the first month of our Midlife Horses Fitness Quest. We’ve tiptoed through some of the key issues and topics and ideas you’ll find in Chapter Four, “Leg UP!” of The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife Horses (but there’s plenty more where these came from. We actually only scratched the surface!)
So how are you doing with all this? While it’s true that, as they say, “Rome (or Rockstar abs) wasn’t built in a day . . .” have you at least taken those first few faltering steps toward a higher level of midlife fitness that will make you a more effective rider (and garner the surprised and reluctant envy of your non-horse friends)? When you look back over the last several weeks, have you made some small changes in your diet and exercise habits that are starting to add up?
I’ll continue to invite check ins and progress reports as you begin to reach those fitness goals you set for yourself at the beginning of this quest. And I’ll probably continue to share my own mile markers in hopes of either encouraging or entertaining you as I reach mine. Post your ideas, pictures and encouraging words! And by all means, if you run across something that works, don’t keep it to yourself — share it! In fact, I’ll send anyone who posts a midlife horses fitness idea a free t-shirt. (Don’t forget to email me with your idea, t-shirt size and mailing address!)
On a final note, I have a confession to make. I have a tendency to overdo. Yes. It’s true. And I do have a proclivity for all-or-nothing thinking (In fact, I may have elevated it to an art form). I was having such a hard time deciding between all the great fitness ideas, exercises and opportunities I had that I finally had to call in an expert. That’s right. I hired a trainer. For me, this time, and not my horse . (Remember how we decided to treat ourselves as well as we treat our horses?) Not in the movie star “my trainer is coming over to work me out” sense, but just to have a sit down with a certified fitness professional and laying out my goals, opportunities, concerns and time constraints and saying “fix it.” She did.
I’m still waiting on the final result (which, with her permission, I’ll share) of her plan to take all my “stuff“ (including two horses, three dogs, yoga, tennis, taekwondo, family, friends, and work deadlines and expectations), factor in my goals of weight loss and consciously addressing the five areas of fitness we’re focusing on here, and create a realistic, customized plan of attack that allows day-to-day flexibility, mix and match, plug and play effectiveness, and best of all, a checklist that will tell me when I’ve done plenty in each area for the week, so I can avoid the all-or-nothing thinking that has, historically, stopped me in my tracks. This will bring, I think, a sense of accomplishment from week to week and ease in knowing that I really have done what I need to do in the area of fitness.
Or, to put it in horsier vernacular, I need to learn when to say “whoa.” And to borrow from Clinton Anderson‘s horse training advice, I need to find for myself the right combination of “long rides, wet saddle pads and concentrated training.”
This trainer has the theory that “enough tiny, focused steps over the course of each day, strung together, can accomplish my midlife fitness goals over the weeks and months to come without a huge additional outlay of time or energy.” The other good news is we’ll revisit this grand design every 6-8 weeks to see how it’s working and to adjust as needed with the same goals in mind. This approach will, she says, protect me from overtraining, keep me accountable, and give me realistic guidelines for finding the balance that has, up until now, eluded me.
What are your Midlife Horses Fitness Quest complications? What stops you? What do you find confusing about working in working out? If you hired a trainer to do this for you, what would you tell him/her? Post your questions on our Facebook page and let’s start some conversations that will lead to better answers!