Mel linked to an article of “Why the Heck Some Good Runners Started Running in the First Place“. I won’t spoil it, but it’s a good read — and some of the reasons are definitely not what you would expect!
The blog hop question is simple: Why did you start riding and/or running in the first place?
Riding: I think horses have always been in my blood, plain and simple. My great-grandfather was an officer in the Polish cavalry, so blame a throwback in genetics. I have photos of me in a baby stroller, no more than a year old, staring fixedly at the ponies in the corral at the petting zoo. Forget the goats, the sheep, the chickens. I wanted the ponies. (Not that I remember this.)
And when I was young, I went through a litany of activities, like all young girls do, trying to find their place. My parents only stipulation was that I do one activity at a time, and that if I decided I didn’t like something, I had to at least finish out the season/lesson course/whatever measure of timing is used to determine little kids’ activities. Ballet, gymnastics, t-ball, Girl Scouts…and horseback riding.
Throw enough mud at a wall and something eventually sticks…horses stuck. I honestly don’t know why. I had such a rough start to the whole horse experience that I probably should have been scared off of them for life. I guess if something’s meant to be, that’s the way it goes.
Running: I’ve dabbled in running off and on for years, usually forced through gym class requirements, and occasionally a wild hair when I would get tired of my pony being fitter than me. This time around, I was initially motivated by getting Artemis. Once she hit 6 months old back in the spring, I knew I needed to start doing more than just walks to burn off some of her energy — I only have so much time to be out walking before I have to be back home for work, so a 10-mile walk in the morning wasn’t going to happen. Since she was still young, we started off very slow, very short distances…but it was more intensity than just walking. As she got older, and fitter, we increased distance. And because I was giving her such a slow legging up, I wasn’t subjecting myself to my usual over-ambitious, under-conditioned running attempts that made it so miserable in the past.
I hit the running path hard at the beginning of the summer after the break-up of what I thought had been a good, pretty serious relationship. Perhaps a questionable motivation…but I discovered how much of an escape running is for me. It’s something that is between me, my body, and the ground. I can control what happens, insomuch as anything in life can be controlled. My success is tied in to me and whatever effort I put into it, with some pretty direct and immediate feedback. It’s head-space time for me, whether it’s to think, or try to clear my head.
Horses are my passion, but I’m liking how well running (especially trail running) seems like it’ll be able to co-exist with it.