January 8, 2017 11 Comments
Good God. It’s been nearly eight months since I posted here. It’s funny how changes in unrelated areas of your life can ripple through your entire personal ecosystem, but that’s the best way I can explain my silence.
The long and short of it is this – 2015 is a year I am still trying to forget. Fate dealt me a series of punches to the gut, ranging from my mom’s diagnosis with a very scary cancer to losing Derby. 2016 was my rebuilding year of sorts. Very simply, I decided there was a lot in my life I wasn’t thrilled with (Mom being the exception, she’s doing really well) and it was time for some course correction. I’ve made a couple big changes and more are in the pipeline.
In the “Done” column is a biggie – my career. I spent the better part of the last year in a job that was a spectacularly bad fit. Having a strong dislike for my work was an entirely new and wretched experience, and I didn’t realize how exhausting the attendant stress and frustration were until I got out of Dodge. Late last year, I landed a fantastic new job, and couldn’t be happier – both with the work itself, and the fact that I got this item off the to-do list. The job change is foundational to my other plans.
In the “Homestretch” column is another biggie – my fitness. There’s no sidestepping the fact I really let things slide in that department. I’m not going to talk numbers but let’s just say this: I am 70% to a goal I set for myself last April, and I will achieve it before April 2017 rolls around. My pants are smaller, my endurance is greater and I’m a lot stronger across the board – core, arms, back, you name it.
Some other course corrections are still in the works, but let’s leave those for another time, because it’s past time for me to be talking about the horses.
Persistent soundness issues with Fred contributed to my frustration over the last year. He recovered nicely from the broken pelvis, but we never really got going in 2016 because one thing after another would knock us off track. A banged up ankle. Bowed tendon. Windpuffs. Bucked shin. Popped splint. Pinched nerve. One thing after another, cumulating with – horrifyingly – sore footedness that threatened to turn into mechanical founder, exacerbated by thin soles and irritation from the packing under the bubble pads I had put on for winter.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly but expecting different outcomes. I am not insane, so last week I moved Fred to a new barn four minutes from my home. It has individual turnout – not my favorite but necessary at this juncture – amazing arena footing and top-notch care. It also has a chandelier in the foyer and a club room that looks like it was decorated by Ralph Lauren himself. Fred can’t believe his luck, and I can’t believe how much I’m paying to board there, but the proximity to home has been fantastic.
And best of all, Fredders is going sound (note: I just tapped wood after typing that.) It’s been very cold (low teens) for the last few days, so I shouldn’t be surprised by the energy he’s displaying, but as discussed previously, he’s not the most forward-thinking horse, so when I give him a little squeeze and get left in the back seat, it is surprising.
We’re not going to be doing anything too interesting very soon – he is out of shape, so we’re doing a lot easy work to put a good foundation on him. But I think we’ll get going with some lessons midweek. Fingers crossed for continued soundness.
In other news, Jag just turned 21. He’s fat, hairy, happy and apparently, semi-feral, as he got loose yesterday and ran his own personal Kentucky Derby around the property where I keep him.
I’m going to call it a wrap for now, folks, but I promise an update in short order. I’m well and truly back. I wish you all a belated but no less enthusiastic happy new year!