This morning, I woke up with only one thought in my head.
Damn it, Tammy. Focus.
Performers and athletes know, the power of the mind. Before I go on stage, I need to get into costume, go into that quiet zone where my mind maps out all the steps, visualising the actual performance. My physical self, warms up.
Last Summer, I participated in an equestrian show for the first time. I learnt there are categories to compete in- Best Rider, Best Horse/Pony, Hunter Jumper.
The first class we entered was Best Horse/Pony. Because I was new then, nothing much was expected of me. Plus, Dumpling the most delicious pony, is a crowd favourite. So all I really had to do was, not get in his way, let him strut his stuff, and just, stay on.
At the end of that round, I unexpectedly won a ribbon! We placed 4th!
Then the rains came down hard, breaking my resolve. As we waited, and waited for our turn in the next round (Best Rider), my body froze, my mind wandered. My mind wandered away from the action in the arena, out of the Commons, down the Village High Street. My mind wandered to Thai Tho Restaurant where I tried to decide which appetiser would best quell the numbness spreading through my body.
From 4th place, Dumpling and I tumbled down, down, down, to last.
I’ll never forget the shock and dismay on the judge’s face that day. I’ll also never forget what last place felt like. I don’t need to always be victorious, but last place, because of a wandering mind? Sucks.
So much has happened in my journey towards partnership with Dumpling since.
Learning to move my arm, my hand, my fingers again. Still learning to bend and straighten my elbow.
Adapting to living with less strength and mobility. Getting back on him.
Embracing pain. Cantering through that spot, there in the Commons… I laid immobile, here.
Focus, damn it, Tammy. Focus.
Today. (Category- Best Rider, Small Horse)
- Photo credit of Dumpling and me in costume- Wimbledon Village Stables