Horse riding- Horse riding has been a life long passion and hobby of mine. It helps develop your core muscles and gives you a full body workout accompanied by muscle strength, stability, posture, and coordination. For me, it’s meant a connectedness to nature, animals and earth. It helps with my self esteem, mood, and relaxation. There’s a special feeling you get when on top of this beautiful and majestic creature- about being able to coordinate alongside an innately wild animal, amongst nature and the outdoors, exploring all of your surroundings together, breathing in the pure, fresh air and the contentment you both feel doing this cohesively. There is an unspoken understanding and a bond that’s hard to put into words because your life is not in your own hands, you are relying on this animal underneath you to keep you safe. I’m appreciative every time I come off unscathed and uninjured. I was an avid rider when I was younger – I would spend most weekends, holidays and any spare time I had amongst horses, animals and nature, exercising my Aunty’s ex racehorses that were 17 hands high when I was a pre-teen! This would have looked totally out of proportion but I didn’t know any different and became extremely confident at handling horses that were too big for me – which still resonates to this day. I grew this extreme confidence when the prospect of fear didn’t cloud any judgement- I was fearless at jumping jumps, logs, tables, everything and anything- no matter how high or long. I set up a similar jump again this year, rode the horse up to it and stopped abruptly in front, “Nope! No way! Not happening!” What the hell was I thinking back then, I must have been completely insane to ride over those things! Ten years or so ago I wasn’t thinking the way I do now – about breaking bones, and all of the other things that could go seriously wrong. Instead, this time I set up a smaller jump and got used to riding over this for now. I aim to one day ride over that same jump as big as I used too – but lets be real – it would have looked a lot bigger then and I was a lot smaller, recovery time if anything were to go wrong would have been a lot shorter and I just don’t have the time to be out of action like that anymore! Times have changed – I’ll find other strengths elsewhere – and that’s okay, I’m fine with that.
Pilates- I’ve been doing pilates on and off (albeit more off than on) since i was a teenager. A few years ago I went on a massive cleanse for health and reproductive reasons, (another post for another time!) I was enduring rigorous training, boxing most mornings at 5am and doing insane amounts of cardio, all of which did nothing in helping to correct my hormone imbalance and weight gain. I was the biggest I’d ever been and my skin was the worst I’d ever seen it. This was also not a sustainable work out regime. This year I rediscovered pilates. My friend had signed up somewhere local offering barre classes, yoga and reformer pilates. It became a social thing for us to do, as coordinating everyones work schedules becomes seemingly harder with age. Reformer pilates is my preferred choice – although I do still enjoy the barre fit classes when I want more of an intense work out. Pilates helps with muscle strength and tone, flexibility, stability, posture, coordination, and balance. It also helps with stress management, breathing, relaxation, mind and body connectedness. I go through different stages regarding what type of exercise interests me and I love mixing up my routine and trying new things. If ever I have any stress Pilates helps with this, giving you time to detach from reality and harmonize your thoughts and breathing.
Therapy – Therapy is something I’ve had little experience with throughout my life- I always had small touching points and brief moments of engagement throughout the years if any crisis or trauma occurred however I would quickly find excuses not to go. If the therapist said something wrong that I didn’t agree with, or I couldn’t find the time – one therapist had an injury and couldn’t return to seeing me – I would take all of these as signs that I didn’t need it at that point in time and would stop pursuing it. I don’t currently have anything in particular that needs to be addressed – as I’m approaching 30 I feel like therapy is necessary for most people to have had around this age bracket. My reasoning being that ways of dealing with things, learned behavior and coping mechanisms that have worked previously can now be done better throughout adulthood. It’s been nothing but a positive and helpful experience so far. I feel like everyone could benefit from talking to an outsider in return for getting their help, advice, opinion and perspective, to help rationalise, empathise or just hear whatever it is you need to vent about. We so easily spend money on gym memberships for our physical wellbeing or other material things we don’t really need but forget to invest in our mental health along the way.
Writing – Growing up, I was the youngest of four. The second oldest sibling is my sister who has become my pillar, a soul mate, my mother, and above all a life long best friend. I am extremely lucky to have her, and to be honest don’t know where I would be without her. We are completely different, however slightly similar in a few ways – our humour being one of them. We share a connectedness growing up in the same house and sharing the same experiences that have shaped and grown us both into who we are today, which I guess is why our understanding of one another is so rich, pure, empathetic, loyal and above all loving. She lost a sister before I came along and I feel her guidance and protection fiercely as a result of this. She does everything she can to help guide me and I don’t know if she’ll realise how truly grateful I am for it- there are not enough moments where i can express this enough. There is something special about having a sister, you learn that blood overrides anyone and anything else. There’s a strong connectedness and understanding you can’t share or find with anyone else. I do whatever I can in return to help her but feel it won’t ever really amount to what she does for me, a testament to the love and respect we both share for one another and each others wellbeing. I remember as a little girl she would sit with me and ‘play schools’ every afternoon. She was the teacher and I was the student. She would make me write in a journal every day accompanied by a coloured drawing- and then mark all of my spelling, punctuation, grammar and content with a mark out of ten in red pen. As a result, she gave me the gift of writing without even knowing it. Reading and writing became second nature to me and enhanced the development of my written and communication skills to top my cohort in English studies throughout highschool, after which I majored in a Journalism degree at university. I find writing a blog a great outlet to creatively express, and detail any personal experiences I have that might resonate with others. It’s taken me a while to figure out exactly what I wanted to say and how, but I figured if what makes me happy helps anyone else’s day be better, that’s really all I could hope and ask for.
Travelling- For the mid year I am planning a trip to Europe. Since living abroad in London, I developed an undying passion for travelling and exploring new places and cultures. I find it enriches your soul, pushes you out of your comforts and challenges your sense of grit, tenacity, adaptability, determination and whatever courage you think you have. You can easily get swallowed up anywhere new (especially in a big, unfamiliar city), with unknown surroundings and no familiar faces. I encourage everyone to live somewhere other than where they’ve been brought up- it’s so good for your connectability, relatability, education and worldliness. Once you start, there’s a hunger developed- an endless and unfulfilled zest to see and learn more. It’s amazing seeing different parts of the world, opening your eyes to how others live and letting yourself go to that relaxed part of your self where you’re completely in touch with where you are and your surroundings and you have no worries other than where you want to explore next. There are different places for doing different things and something majestic and unique about every individual destination. Although I’ve seen a few places there’s always more I want to explore, its a perpetual craving that can never be attained. After all, Europe summer with your best friends and family is always going to be a good idea.