Different Strokes For Different Folks

My brother likes onions on everything, while I tell waiters and waitresses that I’m allergic to them. My roommate Darby gets up before me everyday and enjoys her coffee, while I will stay up reading long past she falls asleep. Jess horse runs to the right barrel first, and Freddy goes left. So what is my point here?

A couple years ago I became very conscious about my health and fitness and after some serious dedication I got to feeling great and staying very consistent in both my diet and exercise.

I moved to Arizona for the winter in the fall of 2016 which is when I decided to get a personal trainer. In theory- great idea. At first I thought I was pushing myself harder than I ever had so therefore it was better for me than anything else I had ever done. More is better right? Of course I didn’t take into the account that I felt like garbage after every session and that I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the way my body was responding. I have a bulky build, which means bulky muscles, all fun and games until you go to put on your jeans post leg day and they don’t fit.

Somewhere in the midst of this fitness journey of mine I broke my hand, and had a surgery. After the surgery I chose to still stay training as much as I could with my cast on. About a month after I got my hand cast off/pins out I broke two vertebrae in my lower lumbar spine, which meant twelve more weeks of down time. Believe it or not I couldn’t keep training with a broken back. First priority looked a lot more like being able to get up after sitting for longer than 10 minutes than how much I could deadlift. And for the grand finale.. around the time my back healed up I came back to Oregon and had a heart surgery. This was all over the course of about seven months.

Summer 2017 was definitely not my best. I left for Arizona feeling awesome and honestly felt nothing short of chewed up and spit back out by the time I returned. I was holding more weight than before, my face was broken out to the point I didn’t want to leave the house, but you know who didn’t care? Life. That’s who. So inevitably life kept going, and it said that I still had mares to foal, and I still had clients to take care of, and I still had transmissions to blow up (yeah, that happened and yeah thats plural). Honestly it wasn’t until I finally got to Texas THIS FALL that I picked my sucker back up out of the dirt and decided to really get myself together. Don’t get me wrong I still tried to jog 2-3 times a week but honestly who really likes jogging?

About a month ago I came across Barre3, I had been told about it by several friends at home and it was even offered at my gym in AZ but I never tried it. For those that don’t know Barre is a combination of ballet, yoga, and pilates and it is AMAZING. For the first time in my life I found something that I actually want to go to every single day and my body actually loves. I feel amazing every time I leave the studio, and I highly recommend trying Barre or some form of yoga especially for anyone who has had injuries. In one month the difference in my riding is undeniable. It’s incredible to feel how much more stability I can offer my horse through my seat as opposed to when I was weight lifting and felt like an awkward clumsy ball of muscle. I also didn’t realize how much I was guarding my low back until I have been strengthening it which has led me to see some places in my runs that I can work on building better habits.

As much as this might sound like an advertisement for Barre3 it’s not, but there are several messages that I am looking to convey. Firstly, that life happens. Sometimes you don’t just fall off the wagon you straight get roped and choked and pulled off the wagon right when you think that you’re doing the best you can for yourself. And it’s allowed to suck, and you’re allowed to feel awful about it but if you do anything at all, just don’t stay there. That leads me to my second point which is, maybe try a different wagon next time? For example, weight training wasn’t for me, so I got on the Barre wagon. Hence, “Different strokes for different folks”. Lastly, build yourself a foundation of people that want you to feel good as much as you want to feel good. I may have been able to pull myself out of that rut alone eventually but it sure made it easier that I have a wonderful support system of family and live with my best friend who is just as invested in my health as I am and holds me accountable in the kindest way possible.

Side Note: I promised one of my instructors that I would get photos of me doing Barre on a horse for their instagram page so if this post wasn’t entertaining for you, maybe those photos will be 😉


April Anne



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