Every winter, I have the greatest aspirations to ride. I have the cold-weather gear, the insulated riding pants, boots with insulated lining that actually fit in my stirrups, even ear warmers that fit decently while wearing a helmet. But every year, I fall short. And I make excuses, especially now that I am on my own property with a field/arena on a slight slope.
Too cold, too muddy, too wet. Too slippery, too mushy, too hard. And then there are the conditional excuses - I don't want to upset their systems, I don't want to upset my system (aka I don't want to freeze my tush off). I enthusiastically claimed, in the fall, that I would trailer them to places with indoor arenas in the snow. It didn't snow very much. So I didn't. Bad me, bad me. Even while I was boarding where there were posh facilities, I was lax on the riding. Lazy.
So it should come as no surprise that, in the face of riding now, I'm as floppy as a fish. I mean, seriously. No riding, very little gym, a sedentary "day job," a lock-in-my-office real job...not very conducive to hardness and fitness. Big bummer when it comes time to climbing back on board. Which I did yesterday, by the way.
It was actually quite pleasant, thanks to my two amazing boys who seem to just be happy we are finally riding now rather than begrudging me decency as recourse to my maddening lack of under saddle attention in the last few months. If they were snotty, I'd deserve it. But they weren't. Atlas was enthusiastic and Winston was sleepy. Atlas' enthusiasm was encouraging. He still loves me, I cheered. And yet even on sleepy Winston, I wore my crash vest. Not necessary for a ten minute walk-trot, of course. But I have too much padding in all the wrong places if I fall. THAT is how out of riding shape I'm in. Teetery, uncentered, unbalanced.
But at least I'm back on board. An analogy for life. Even when you're feeling your floppiest, just do it. Just get back on board. Maybe things will go swimmingly. Maybe they won't. Maybe you'll crash & burn. Maybe you'll be humbly reminded time and time again of your floppiness. But, eventually, you will get hard again. Eventually you will feel it is natural again. You will trust yourself and be in control of your own devices. You will own it. Just keep going. Believe me, believe it, you will get there.