Written by my dear friend Katelyn, who I admire for her drive, her passion, and her attention to detail in everything she does. Her bio on her blog reads:
“I am Katelyn, an artist of many things. Equal parts dreamer and realist, trying to make sense of the hot mess that is my cerebral cortex. I am a passionate mother, wife, equestrian, and marketing professional. One day out of the blue in the ladies room at work, a colleague turned to me as she was washing her hands and said “you are just like a chameleon!” I also make a mean bowl of oatmeal and enjoy red wine.”
Rising from the Ashes
Over 2 years ago, surprise twins and a fast paced career put me on hiatus from one of the few extracurricular passions that truly leveled me, challenged me, and helped me feel (even on hard lesson/show days) free from the weight of the world on my shoulders. I sold it all.
For too long a moment, I let myself believe that I couldn’t cram one more thing back into my life and that there wasn’t room for me. Not right now. No, it belonged to others during this “era” of my life. That’s a mostly unspoken rule that new working moms are taught to believe and follow, understandably, but sometimes to the detriment of their own emotional well-being.
With a little (a lot) of help from my friends and loved ones, I found the confidence and encouragement several months ago to start taking my weekly riding lesson at Double Deuce Farm. Things changed. I started going on Saturdays instead of Tuesday nights, I was a little rusty but not nearly as much as I anticipated. I forgot a few things, but they came back just like riding a bike. What came back first though wasn’t the memory of how to put on a bridle properly or breathe and smile through a spooky ride. What smacked me so sweetly in the soul first was the feeling of one hour of complete freedom from my seemingly endless worldly stress. With a hummingbird heart wired for sound, riding has always been one of the rare activities capable of playing my characteristic anxiety and thirst for freedom together, not against one another.
I won’t say it’s easy. I’m a 20 something mother of twin daughters now, with more color-coded calendars and lists than ever. I have no blood flow to my extremities when it’s cold, and some Saturday mornings I wake up tired, admittedly dragging myself to the barn. And every single time I’m done, I think, “Silly girl. That was hard, and it was awesome.” And like clockwork, I take the deepest most clean breath of my entire week.
This weekend, I showed for the first time in years. For the first time in my riding history, I heard the pleasant, “Rider off course, thank you.” But that was my schooling round. And then Avatar and I won Grand Champion of our division, just like old times. Taking risks and embracing passion. Old and new. That’s how I plan to start this new year.