The Age Impaired Rider: ‘Rocking out to the Black Eyed Peas’

Dia Fowles says you’re never t0o old to follow your dreams, even if they lead you in an unexpected direction. And you’re never, EVER too old to rock.

From Dia:

That’s what we do. That’s who we be.

Yup, I’m an old chick who listens to the Black Eyed Peas. I like to listen to them a lot. And I like to listen to them with the volume cranked, but only when I am alone in my car, driving. When the music fills the car, it’s pure mental freedom, I can get lost in the music (sing) or let my mind roam. It’s a blast and I really enjoy it.

That’s what we do. That’s who we be.

Last time I blasted it, it made me think… about riding and why I still was doing it. Like many of you who are reading this, I have ridden since I was a child. I did other things, too; there was basketball, track and softball. But as I aged, those other activities fell by the wayside and all I did was ride. Horses influenced most every decision I made as a young adult–where I went to college, what jobs I took, what vehicle I drove, even who I married. My daughter grew up knowing that the horses got fed before she did, and my current husband knows that, too.  They are all cool with it, because I’m a horse person, and these are the things that I do. A horse person, it’s what I be.

But is it right for you? If in middle age you are struggling with the pressures of riding, the money, the physical exertion, the fear of injury, maybe you need to think this through.

When I made my decision to continue on with horse sports, I knew I needed some mental shoring up to combat my anxiety about getting hurt. I invested in several sessions with a counselor (worth every penny, plus a lot of insurance covers counseling. Just don’t say it’s to help your riding, rather you are anxious about work, the CIA tapping your cell phone, erectile dysfunction or some other covered malady).

One of the first things my counselor asked was, did I really enjoy riding or was I riding because it had become my persona. She explained that many times people who continue on with an activity do so only because they have so much time, energy and self worth wrapped up in the activity. They really don’t enjoy it.

The tennis player Andre Agassi is an example. In his autobiography, Open, he tells of his relationship with his sport. As good as Agassi was–he won eight grand slams and achieved great wealth and celebrity–in his book he reveals that he never liked the game. In fact, he hated it. Pushed into tennis by a demanding father (you could say tyrannical), Agassi excelled, but he was often unhappy.

The book is very insightful and as you read it, you might notice that you have similar feelings. I read the book cover to cover and loved it, but if sports books are not your thing, I would still recommend reading the first chapter entitled “The End.” His retelling of his final game is very insightful and Agassi’s heartfelt words can help with your self-knowledge.

Once you decide if riding is what you be, it is much easier to define a clear path to success and get on with it. And if you decide that riding is not you, rather what you have done, move on with a new adventure.

That’s what we do. That’s who we be.

Seriously, be you. Whatever you choose, it is going to be a blast.

Photo: HN

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