And the Motivation

So, I thought to myself, do I become a cartoon character um...or a sportswoman?? Or a painter?? Oooo – Architect!
No.? What did I become?? A poop scooper.? Yes you heard (?) me correctly.? I shovelled shit.? Every day.? I put it into big piles.? I blocked holes in the hedges with it.? I used it in interesting civil engineering projects to dam lakes and bridge rivers.? I used other materials too.? But the glue was poo.
I even swopped wheel-barrow loads of it for organic vegetables and beer to eat and drink while following poo-producing beasts who roamed about … pooing.? I am now extremely knowledgeable about the subject.? I know who created each little pile and how long ago it landed.? I know their health and well being from it and how to adjust the diet to create a better looking one.? I can sometimes tell the gender of the animal too if the animal is any one of the Family Equidae.? Uncastrated males will sniff a poo, step over it and then poo on top of it, then turn around and sniff it again.? It takes forever to go out for a ride on a stallion because they want to do this everytime they spot one.? I liken it to checking and replying to emails.
Girls, and most boys without nads, will see a poo, sniff a poo and then poo without moving.? Which is a bugger because if you don’t keep on top of it the land becomes one big toilet.? One day I was talking crap to a neighbour when it occurred to me that I really ought to get out a bit more.? Not outside, obviously, but out and about.? I needed direction.? A goal.
But which goal?? At the time I was selling the occasional painting, landscaping the occasional garden, half heartedly trying to get a series of comical poetry books published (the cartoon above is the cover of the first in the series – illustrated by Ian Baker), sporadically writing a novel, backing and bringing-on horses that other people had failed with,? and trying to renovate an old house but was, in fact, slowly wrecking it.? Jack of all trades.? Master of none.
It being far easier to shove a book or a canvas in a cupboard I picked riding.? But not just riding.? Now I had discovered “motivation” I decided to become an Olympian.? An Olympic showjumper, no less.? Aim high.? Take no prisoners.? Do everything in your power.? A little too eager, I feel, considering at the time I had a welsh mountain pony cross appaloosa and a shetland.? My only tranportation was this:
first blog
Or this:
London would have to wait.? And I have told Rio de Janeiro not to hold its breath.
But you cannot, nor should not, let little practicalities stand in the way.? If there is not a way around a problem then perhaps there is a way over or under it.? And if there truly is not a way then, simply, make one.? It really helps to look at the goal as a whole living being made up of limbs and organs and systems and cells.? All can be viewed as separate things and, at the same time, as a whole.? So if I make little improvements and changes then eventually my “body” will be healthier.? My goal will be achieved.
There is something that has stuck with me for decades.? I cannot remember where I heard or read it but it has stayed filed away in my brain.? It is pointless to hold on to a dream if you have no intention of pursing it.?
Imagine that your dream is to be a famous movie star.? Easy to imagine that one.? It is probably the most common dream next to famous football player.? But the vast majority of the people who hold onto that dream year after year will never take an acting lesson or join the local Amateur Dramatics Society.? Nor will they attend auditions or even talk to a casting agent.? But they will go on for ages about “when they are famous”.? You cannot expect a talent scout to discover you in the park unless you are doing Midsummer Night’s Dream around a band stand and one happens to be in the audience.
I do admit to moving my goal posts a little further apart and aiming for the CSI 1*.? After all, I will be 50 in 2017 and there is no way I will be an Olympian by later this year never mind how hard I try.? But I can, and do, take riding lessons as often as I can afford them.? Then I go home and try to emulate what I have learned on my own horses.? Even on the shetland pony.
I mowed the flattest field with this …

… singing one girl went to mow, went to mow a meadow!!!? And then filled that field with various home-made jumps.
I downloaded book after book onto my lap-top about all sorts of things to improve my knowledge – which was no mean feat when you consider I could not afford the internet and telephone at home so would piggy-back off a neighbour’s wifi by wandering about the village at night trying to find a signal with the device above my head or leant against a tree. Then I would have to run home every 20 minutes to plug the thing in to charge it up as the battery was knackered.? Which was why I managed to get given it for free.? You will be pleased to note that things have much improved and I am sitting in my house in a little office space I created especially to write this.
And then I was lucky enough to find a job with a professional international showjumper as a groom (and will tell you who once I have double checked she does not have a problem with being associated with this blog).? There is no better way to be motivated to continue on with your dream than to spend regular time with someone who is already living it.? Unfortunately, I had to stop working there due to vehicle problems and the long distance between my home and hers.? However, it was perhaps a good time to stop.? I enjoyed every minute working there and learned so much about the day to day life of someone who competes on the international circuit.? But my goal is not to be a groom.
It is to be a rider in my own right.

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