Monday, June 4, 2012

run and ride

I was on my way to ride Merlin by 7PM. Post-office chores had taken an hour and a half, the normal time, but the whole time through feeding sheep and chickens, straining evening milk, and sweeping the dog hair off the living room floor all I could think about was getting on that horse. I missed him.

Riding is a lot like running in the sense that once you get into the habit it your body misses it more than your mind. You may want to relax on the couch while it rains outside but your legs ache to be stretched and moved across the landscape. You put on your running shoes and you go out in the weather, thinking of the hot shower and tea on the couch after it is earned and the beast is at rest. I already went for a jog at the office gym (barefoot, since I forgot my running shoes but too stubborn to not get in a mile jaunt and some sit ups) and I wanted to feel a horse under me. The body demanded it. Muscle memory joining forces with the mind's need to relax. These two things mean saddling up.

When I run I think. I write stories and blog posts, novels and songs. I go through relationships, fights, and people like index cards. I sort through things, work them out. But on a ride my mind goes away. It's just me and that horse, and we focus on things like right diagonals and proper seat and I am so wrapped up in basic communication that I can't think of anything else but us. It is a wonderfully selfish time. The kind of insulating mental activity that is necessary for self preservation. Granted, yoga classes would be a hell of a lot cheaper, but I am a woman who wants to shoot arrows from horseback some day. So I ride.


Blogger K said...

I know I'm tired when I spend a minute or so trying to figure out what would take you so long at the post office, then clue in you mean "after work" ;)

June 4, 2012 at 9:20 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

Watch out, Bear Killers. Here comes Jenna.

June 4, 2012 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Lol "K" I did the same darned thing... Whew glad Monday's over! Hope you had a good ride with Merlin tonight Jenna!

June 5, 2012 at 12:02 AM  
Anonymous Margaret Fisher said...

When one runs, one is alone. When one rides, one is no longer alone. And that makes all the difference.

June 5, 2012 at 12:18 AM  
Blogger greendria said...

Great writing, again. You say it so beautifully

June 5, 2012 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Talita Salles said...

Jenna, sometimes you make me cry with your writing.

Thank you.

PS: I found out last year that we have a national championship of mounted archery here in Brazil. It's my next step after a few months of riding classes. :)

June 5, 2012 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Barefoot running is quite the pleasant experience. I'm no barefoot ultra-marathon running fanatic, but every once in a while I do love to go for a barefoot run (or one at least wearing my Luna Sandals). It's really nice being able to feel the contour of the ground under your feet -- at times it's like a mini-foot massage.

June 5, 2012 at 9:11 PM  

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