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January 23, 2019: Flexibility

Yesterday I wrote a dispatch about focus. I was attempting to make a justification for my unconventional behavior. In other words, I was unable to think outside the box. The box that I inhabit doesn’t have much space although there is plenty of light coming through the cracks. Sometimes the light is a necessary distraction.

Today was a radically different day than yesterday. I did things differently than I described yesterday. Hurrah for my subconscious, which watches out for me. My subconscious is inhabited by my inner voice. My inner voice has even gone so far as to decorate her surroundings. My subconscious allows my inner voice’s

Alys doing a squat
Alys doing a squat

ideas, thoughts, and ruminations to surface in the conscious.

Flexibility is as important as focus. This is what my inner voice said to me this morning. And so this morning, rather than spend the little time I had revising and copy editing my proposal, I instead headed for the great outdoors. Pete and I first took Tinni and Hrimmi for a walk around the loop. On the way we saw Kirby building a snow ramp. He says it’s a fat tired bicycle jump.

We came home. Pete went to work. I did agility with Hrimmi, Tyra, and Raudi. All four are such wonderful animals. In the process of doing agility, I had several major revelations. First and foremost, agility must remain fun for us all. I will continue to do this in practice by limiting the number of repetitions of the obstacles, particularly those that have a higher degree of difficulty for the horses.

I am also going to continue to end practice with a fun and purposeful activity, like pushing the ball downhill, back to the paddock. This is in part because this is what they’ll remember later on. And I’m going to limit the number of video exercises to three takes per horse, no more. If we mess up, we’ll just keep going. We won’t do the obstacle over and over again. No, no, no. Raudi and Hrimmi are now at the Advanced One Star Level, which is the top level. Tyra is at the Advanced Level and gaining on them. They’ve paid their dues. Now we’re just going to have fun.

An agility-related self-revelation: We all do best when, in doing the agility course, I focus my gaze on the next obstacle. This is because I now stand straighter, so my visual field, which is that of outer landscape, is far broader than it used to be.

I went to strength training after the agility session. It went really well. I was chipper, to the degree that I’m sure that Ben thought that I’d been drinking coffee. I just felt good. I was having trouble with a floor-based exercise called the get-up. Ben, in his infinite wisdom and grace, figured out that doing this standing would work better for me. He called this exercise the windmill. I so enjoyed this. It made me feel . . . flexible.

Strength training is all about physical flexibility. But I do believe that there is a positive corollary, and this is mental flexibility. Both are also equally important. Both contribute to being focused, which is not the end-all.

Next: 24. 1/24/19: A Composite Conversation with Hrimfara

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