Here in CA doing out door sports is virtually compulsery..I made a decision at about 11 years old to" drop out"of any sport because a/ it was deeply uncool and for losers and b/ what would happen if God forbid I should lose? c/ complete unwillingness to go through the pain of learning something new lest I look a complete fool and the intolerable experience of not being "brilliant" at something immediately.However coming here to California I have taken up two things I dropped out of ..riding and tennis..My wise and wonderful friend Oscar says you learn more from doing a sport than anything else..and I would agree. I go through the whole spectrum of emotions ranging from rage to elation.
At both these things which I had tried out as a child and never really mastered because I was not Olympic standard immediately.Learning to manage competition is not easy , there have been times I have wanted to murder my tennis opponent and this is a great opportunity for rage management. I have also wanted to break down in a heap in the middle of the court weeping with despair and give up . It is also hard to cover my glee at the occassional game that i have won.
As for our 4 legged friends..I never stop learning from dealing with animals - like children you have to show them whos in charge. I had an interesting experience last week . I went up to malibu to see my friend and meet her beautiful new horse who is housed in a very posh German Barn. I got an introductionary lesson from her trainer. I have to say it was more than a humbling experience. My friend warned me that my riding would be "deconstructed"
As I mounted the horse I was told that everything from my neck down to my little toe was out of place, that my 3rd virtibrae needed to be more to the left, seat bones more undernieth me ..as I rode around in circles and the German instructor "deconstructed" me I became more and more nervous and agitated and started to get more and more wrong. The horse then picks up on ones fear and starts to act out. As i drove the many miles back to West Hollywood I reflected on what a soul destroying experience I had just had and that it had ruined my ride.
I then did a clinic with a visiting Brit Islay who is one of the heads of the British Horse Socoety ..I was dreading this and expected to be named and shamed..and ticked off within an inch of my life a la English instructers of my youth but no ...Islay proved to be the Delai Lama of the riding world ..she instructed all of us to get relaxed with the horse and not to worry about toe or heel positions. Within minutes I felt this wonderful connection to the horse and that we were able to work together in harmony.Once again I was proved wrong by my expectations and contempt prior to investigation.
Reasons to be Cheerful. One, Two. Three.
2 weeks ago