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Best of JN: #AdultAmmyProbs Struggles of a Traveling Amateur

“I have found that guilt is a huge part of being a semi-highly competitive adult amateur. For the first time in my life, I am traveling and showing as much as I have always desired, and while I love every minute of it, I also struggle with a massive amount of guilt.”

Photo by Alissa King / JN

I am writing this from the bed of the third hotel room I have stayed in this week. I have crossed so many state lines that they are all starting to blur together. And while work is keeping me busy, all I can think about is my horse.

While my story is a bit different in the fact that my horse is in training several hours from my home property, it is not entirely unique. Many amateurs travel long distances like I do to work with trainers they respect and appreciate. I am lucky to have the chance to work with my trainer, but even on a normal week, where I am based out of our home office, I am unable to ride or even visit my horse throughout the week.

It is nights like tonight that after traveling literally THOUSANDS of miles in the first three days of the week that all I want to do is go home and sleep in my own bed. Yet I have two more days of traveling ahead of me before I return to my own zip code and then should make another three-hour drive to spend the weekend preparing for our next competition.

But, man, all I really want to do is stay home.

I have found that guilt is a huge part of being a semi-highly competitive adult amateur. For the first time in my life, I am traveling and showing as much as I have always desired, and while I love every minute of it, I also struggle with a massive amount of guilt.

I feel guilty for leaving my husband so often to train or show.

I feel guilty for sacrificing weekends on the lake with my family.

I feel guilty for taking days off of work (but thankfully, I now work for an amazing company who supports me and allows me the flexibility to do what I do).

And most of all, I feel guilty for just wanting to spend a weekend at home doing nothing.

I 100% love my job. I feel so lucky to work for a company as wonderful as the one I currently work for, but as we reach the height of our busy season, I am beginning to feel the strain of keeping all of my scales perfectly balanced. My house is typically a disaster (thank heavens for our house cleaner who I happily hired guilt-free to help me keep things in order twice a month), my diet has turned to crap (I live on white-chocolate covered pretzels and Barqs root beer), I live out of a suitcase and perpetually do the sniff-test with my jeans since my laundry piles are taller than I am and on top of all of that, I have to make time to ride my horse while keeping all of that chaos out of my mind for maximum education absorbance.

Sometimes it feels impossible.

One thing I have come to realize is that it is okay to take a day off from everything; in fact, it is healthy to do so. Riding is so important to me, and I do invest a lot of time and money into being successful in the saddle, but for the sake of my own sanity (and my husband’s), I have to take a day every now and then to just be a normal person. I want to walk my dogs and sit on my couch and watch The Office a million times. For my own well-being, sometimes I just have to take a breather.

So this weekend I take a day off. Just one day, as I have a show coming up and want to put my best foot forward, but that one day will allow me to reset and unwind and just be normal. And then the day after I will get back to my normal grind.

Go Jumping. Go Adult Ammys.

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