Thursday, August 23

another day, another horse

So, most of the tickets to Paralympic events are sold out. At least, it appears so according to the web site of the agency through which we Americans are supposed to order.

This strikes me as odd considering the last time I was at the Games, most of the seats were empty. And I suppose that is why I waited so long to make reservations. Leave it to me to procrastinate on the one thing most crucial to visiting the Paralympics, access to the actual Games.

Not all is lost, however. I have ordered two day passes, which afford access to several different sporting events. Unfortunately, none of these are events that I particularly wanted to see. But who knows, I may really love boccia, whatever that is.

Oddly, this oversight is due, in part, to my sudden preoccupation with getting into better physical shape. I'm not sure if it's sympathy training for the actual athletes preparing for competition or if I'm just nesting for the big event, but I've taken to stretching a lot more, taking daily walks, and last night I did some vaulting.

I haven't been on a vaulting horse in several months at least. I decided to visit an adult class with a different club. Why not change everything in my life at once, eh?

But it felt good to be back. The coach, who is about my age, seems excited to take on my unusual physical situation as a challenge. She led me through some much needed back to basics, like not relying on my one arm for strength and balance. 

If you promise not to laugh, I'll give you a little peek into the highly scientific approach she suggested for getting into the 'box' position, or up on all fours on the back of the horse....

OK, you can laugh if you must. Note, I did not show you the clip of me trying this on the actual horse. That was not going well at all until she reminded me to stop relying on my right arm. Then Poof!, I was up before I knew what was going on.

Leave it to me to make something harder than it has to be. Like with most things, I had learned to rely on my right arm so much, I didn't even know that's what I was doing anymore. I was stuck in a brain rut.

I had to mentally let go of my right arm, reconnect with my core, balance, and use the momentum of the horse. And just like that, I was up.

Sometimes I'm astonished at how inept I am at using my own body. What potential we have, and how little we use to get by. Makes me wonder how many other situations in my life I am strong-arming my way through, focusing only on the end result.

No amount of brute force is going to get me into the 2012 Paralympic Games. I'm hoping London will decide to be nice and open up some seats as the days get closer. Poor access to an event promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities in world class sport is kinda bad PR if you ask me.

But I have to wonder what might happen if I just reconnect with my core, balance, and let the momentum take me...