And I can't stop finding beautiful, positive messages surrounding me. When I train, I connect to nature, I connect to myself. When I'm not training I focus on connecting to others. It's taken just over 3 weeks of off season to begin feeling human again. As we near thanksgiving day, I'm more and more thankful for my friends and family. No matter what path I choose, they are all there to either cheer or strap on their boots and trek it with me. You are all super-fabulous!
In other news, yesterday was a fun day. I met with coach E-Rock in the afternoon and had a great chat about goals, my athletic history, and the most common athletic pitfalls (to which none of us are immune). It was a great chat and the open dialogue between Eric and myself will make this a great coach-athlete relationship. I feel comfortable asking questions and confident in his answers. A few days ago, he asked me to write down a list of goals/points of weakness/etc. At the top of my list was to commit myself completely to his coaching. I've printed out the goals and they are sticking to my fridge. (another goal is about healthy eating - damn you dark chocolate pudding snacks!).
After the meeting, I went to the horse farm to do afternoon chores for my family's 13 horses. As soon as I walk into the barn, I'm greeted by a chorus of nickers. It is the most heart warming, silly sound! It was dark when I arrived, but a lovely and mild 45 degrees outside. I tacked up Little Cass(Casanova, aka the little poe, cass, super little poe, supernova - and so on) and we danced in the moonlight. The sky was clear and the moon shone bright enough to light up the ring. After a bit, I turned on the ring lights and it was a flashback to our days competing on the national and international stage. We spoke silently - a language all our own. He was relaxed and supple and it was one of the most wonderful rides I've had. I retired Cass years ago and yet at 23, he's still as limber, energetic and acrobatic as ever. We mostly trail ride, but every once in a while, I'll bring him back to the ring and we'll pull out all the stops - seamlessly drawing together challenging movements. It is at those moments of perfect harmony I believe I can do anything.
People said Cass and I would never excel in the sports of Eventing or Dressage. He was a pony without papers - no fancy bloodlines to speak of and he is tiny. A little silver being with long white eyelashes. We worked for years, with coaches that believed in us and we believed in ourselves. When we gained recognition, I never said "I told you so". The satisfaction of accomplishment was enough. I want that again.