Monday, September 1, 2014

It's All in Your Mind

Well, it’s six weeks until the Region Two USDF championships where Bucky and I will be competing in two obscenely large championship classes: Fourth level and PSG.

When did those classes get so large? I mean, I thought that above second level was supposed to be where the classes thinned out. 50+ horses? Qu’est-que le shit, as the French would say.
Well, there are only so many things a girl can do to brush up in six weeks. I’ve been taking lessons (when I can), I’m walking/jogging more and eating one meal a day (god do I hate jogging. And salads), so that just leaves the mental part.

Can you tell that I’ve been raiding my equestrian library? Jane Savoie’s “Its Not Just About the ribbons”, to be exact. My mother got my copy signed at a clinic in Texas a few years ago but to be honest, I don’t think that I’ve ever read it the whole way through. I remember trying “That Winning Feeling” when I started showing in high school. I probably could have greatly benefitted from it, but being a know-it-all teenager with no room for self-improvement I skimmed it once, maybe twice, and promptly forgot everything in a whirl to teenage angst. Teenagers. Shudder. This time through I’m trying to take something away from it. I mean, I’ve come a long long way with show nerves and becoming a more tolerable human being since high school, but I could always use improvement. What can it hurt to try, right?

But itn’t it, though? Kinda? No?
Since, according to her, it takes 21 days to form a habit, good or bad, I had better get cracking.

So, step one: Positive Self Talk
Now, I’m my own worst critic, something I think that most women struggle with. We all tend to think that we’re too tall, too short, too fat, too thin, too old, too young… And I’m no different. I tend towards self-depreciating humor and sarcasm, think I could stand to lose a few (a lot) pounds and have the constant nagging doubt that every other open rider will see through me for the imposter I am. What else is new?
So my first step into positive self-talk is to choose three buzzwords for positive affirmations (getting to woo-woo for you yet?)

We are Powerful.

We are Supple.

We Belong here.

Evidently if I keep repeating these to myself I’ll start to believe it and it’ll become a self-fulfilling prophesy. Worth a shot, right?

So here’s to three weeks to me becoming a more positive, chipper individual!

PS: After day one of self-affirmation, saying and resaying my thingys while cleaning stalls, I'm pretty sure Bucky is pretty sure that he's been upgraded to the thinking half of this partnership.. Great start, guys. 

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