One of my goals for the year was to ‘get strong’; to continue to rehab my hip replaced hip and and to increase my fitness after 6 months of really reduced activity. Since I made this goal in January, I upped my riding, particularly while I was doing the Top Barn Challenge 2019, but more recently I’ve been looking at my step count and lamenting the rubbish mid week days. Now it has all changed!
I feel like I am now at the point with my new hip where I need to step up using it and push myself more. There is that but also we all know ‘exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy’.
Obviously riding is my favourite exercise. I’m still fairly consistently riding four times a week (which is as much as I can fit in around work at the moment) but I am trying to be more conscious of what work we do. If I don’t feel strong enough or in the right mindset to school, I don’t. Otherwise I know we will go in and flop around for a bit, achieving very little and getting me frustrated! When I AM in the right frame of mind, we are schooling for much longer each time. We are trotting more hills, TRYING to canter more and just generally enjoying what we are doing.
The biggest change I’ve made is I’m consciously pushing myself to do more steps rather than just doing what I do. Rather than going to the yard on the way home from work, I’ve been driving home and walking to the yard (which is under a mile away). A simple change and certainly more time consuming BUT also an easy way to up my step count. The days I carry two tubs of pig food with me are even better.. weights anyone!? I listen to podcasts (Olivia Towers’s ones are my favourite) and I chill out. I make sure I extend my leg properly and hold my pelvis properly and I feel much better for doing it.
My bike had spent many months stationary after I was allowed to ride a horse again but I’ve decided to get it out and try to, at least weekly, go out for a cycle. The main problem with this is I’m not very confident in traffic as such, my bike rides have been at 5.30 in the morning! Not much traffic then! I love the feeling of the wind whistling past me though I need to build up to doing more hill work. Again, it makes me feel good, starts my day well and allows me to see my pony an extra time if I go past the yard!
I’ve been quite on off with my yoga recently but there is no denying it has amazing benefits for your mental and physical state. I always feel the effect on my muscles after only one yoga session so I definitely need to get going with it again. I’m hoping to take my mat out to the garden now that the weather is getting better like a proper insta girl!
Now I have said a million times, I won’t be running with my new hip. It isn’t exactly recommended, I don’t want to prematurely wear my hip and I’ve never really been a keen runner. But sometimes things happen and what happened to me was that the Tuesday lunch running club at school needed an extra adult to cope with the sheer quantity of children wanting to do it. My school has a very small staff and it didn’t look like anyone else was going to do it. You know what I’m like when someone asks me to do something!? On the proviso that some of the children would be so slow I would be able to keep up in a speedy walk, I agreed to do it. Today was my first one. I ran. Admittedly there were plenty of walking breaks (I couldn’t leave the straggling last children behind) and maybe it was more of a jog but it was certainly the most in the way of running that I have done in a long time. I actually enjoyed it. It is such a cliche but I felt FREE! Lets not forget that this time last year I was on crutches (before my operation) for any proper walking. Don’t ask me how I feel – right now I feel ok but I’ll update you tomorrow!
So where do I go from here? The plan is to continue riding four times a week (building up both of our fitness), try to get out on my bike and do yoga at least once a week respectively, to carry on with running/jogging/walking/motivating children club (IF I feel ok tomorrow) and to make sure EVERY day I do enough steps.
I’m not generally one for New Year’s Resolutions but I do like to set myself goals (generally with very little time frame restrictions) so here’s some I intend on working towards in the next year!
The first goal for the year is a bit of a continuation of what I have already been doing and doesn’t really have an end point (so not a SMART target!) but it is to get stronger! I’m not in the camp of people who want to lose weight or look more ‘insta ready’ but having gone right down to the strength of a marshmallow in July after my hip replacement, I have a whole new appreciation for muscle and core strength. I know it will help my riding as well as my general continued hip rehab! The plan is to continue with home physio, do more yoga, more walking and more swimming!
I can almost hear you reading this and saying ‘come on Poppy, you keep banging on about wanting to compete but you still haven’t done it’.. Well this year is our year. It has been around 17 months since our last real dressage competition (see the picture below) and that is appalling! I now have the transport and the support, just need to rustle up the money and the skills!
On a more personal note, we hope to move house in the early part of this year. Having already moved ten times since I left my parents’ house in 2010, I am hopeful that we can find somewhere to properly settle in a good location for Pea and both of our work locations AND with space for our guinea pigs and potential future additions to our team.
So there we go! Short, sweet and hopefully achievable! What are your goals for the year?
It is now June which means I can no longer say that my operation is next month.. it is actually this month! No more months to wait! I still have plenty of unanswered questions about what is to come, even after reading the extensive booklet I was given at my pre op (https://younghipandhorsey.com/2018/05/17/practically-passable-in-every-way/), but proper preparations have started.
Firstly, my lovely boyfriend has started shifting the furniture so that it is more ‘crutch friendly’. When we moved in together we amalgamated most of our furniture but the house isn’t really big enough to cope. Until this week you had to be pretty slim to get past the furniture to the bedroom and the shower room but that clearly wasn’t going to work for me post op. Now the spare room can only be accessed if you are a mouse but the important rooms are far more accessible. We used to have an equal, foot wide passage either side of our bed but the bed is now shifted all the way to one side so he has been practising climbing whilst I have been enjoying the luxury of space!
After the conversations at my pre op about not being able to shower at least for the first day after my operation, hygiene and cleanliness have been at the forefront of my ‘first world problem’ panics. I took a trip to Boots to stock up on the things I think I’m going to want whilst I’m in hospital to help me to try to feel more normal. It felt a little funny buying one of those travel bags of empty bottles to fill for hospital rather than for a holiday. I also got a free gift of travel sized Liz Earle products when I bought my usual products from them – again, perfect for hospital! Two and a half weeks to go and my wash bag is packed – not bad considering these days I tend to take one day at a time.
I also bought a few new, loose dresses. I know that there are tips and tricks as to how to get trousers on – men must do it! I can’t help thinking that in the early stages it might just be easier to wear dresses. As for the funny gadgets to help you put your socks on (that I have seen in my booklet) I feel like if I don’t wear socks for the rest of June and July, it is not the end of the world!
Physically, I’m doing my best effort at my physio exercises and trying to keep my muscles going whilst not knackering myself out completely. I am having varied success with that as I still have nights where the pain completely takes over and I realise I have overdone it in one way or another. It is hard to break the habit of a lifetime! I have started to do a bit of yoga (strictly in house using videos to help me) and of course I am still riding. Not for long, not far and since the pleasure ride (https://younghipandhorsey.com/2018/05/20/pleasure-and-pain/) barely out of a walk! Sometimes I feel like I can’t actually move my leg while I’m riding (not good if you need to put a bit of leg on when your pony sees a monster in the bushes!) Most nights I’m happy just to spend some time with Pea. Apart from the walking required to get to her, that is relatively painless!
At this stage I’m not sure what other preparations I need to make! If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them.