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June 2, 2021: Running with Horses: Accepting Decline

The other day Pete and I went hiking with our good friends Brian and Judy. Judy, who writes, was telling me about her latest project – she is working on a series of essays. My ears perked up when she said that she was given an assignment in an online class, which was to write about where she would be, and what she’d be doing in five years. I got stuck on this for a while, realizing that it is something I should do, keeping the Bright Lights Book Project in mind.

Judy intimated that one of the ideas that materialized when she was doing this assignment was that she needed to accept decline. She’s 69. For the rest of the hike, this idea continued to do cartwheels in my head.

Judy and Alys heading down the trail

Am I, or am I not, accepting the fact that I am slowly going downhill mentally or physically? Am I fighting this? And to what end? After having given the matter more thought, I realized that, yes, I am fighting decline tooth and nail. No, I’m not going gentle into that good night. I’m going kicking and screaming.

Resuming running has been revelatory because I have been forced to make a comparison. I used to run long distances – it was never easy, but it was do-able. I recently resumed running, with the hope of again running long distances. It seems totally unfair to me, that I would have a hard time with this. It should work in reverse, difficult early in life, then easier as one ages.

Running with Tinni has enabled me to keep things in perspective. It’s like having a running partner who is equally matched. Our combined ages are 97 years. I think that we’ll both live long enough to reach 100. This will be in two years. Gulp.

Tinni is on the Keep Equines Moving Program. I am on the Keep Alys Moving Program. We now generally begin our workouts with a walk to the trailhead. I then ride him on our trails. I dismount at the trailhead, and then we run three quarters of a mile.

The running seemed to have gotten easier for me. My right hip feels creaky, but my level of endurance is getting back up there. Today, Tinni did just fine on the trails, although it seemed like his left leg was a bit gimpy.

We got out on the road and he refused to trot. Rather than pester him with the crop, I instead walked with him. I do not know if his running days are over or not. I hope not. But if so, we will continue to walk together, and like today, this will be a warmup for me.

I put Tinni away and then got Tyra out and ran the loop with her. She maintained a steady trot the entire way, every so often nudging me for treats. So now, Tyra is on the Keep Equines Moving Program.

I am obviously resisting decline.

Next: 153. 6/3/21: Yo Sebastian

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