Sunday, January 6, 2013

Year in review 2012

For the last few days, I have been thinking that I need to write a blog post summing up the year 2012. Only, I never seem to have time to sit down and do it, which is really silly, because I had nothing but time for the past couple weeks. First I was sick, and then I was just tired and coughing. So, I guess I really have had time, I just haven't made myself do it yet. So as I'm driving to work, I'm using Siri to help me post my blog. This is not going to be without disaster. Siri often makes mistakes in what I say as I drive. Plus, I can't really proofread if I'm driving. So, I thought I would start a blog post, and then proofread it once I got to a safe and secure location.

The first area that I spent a great deal of time working on 2012 was diet and fitness. I have a modest goal to finally get below 200 pounds, a weight I have not seen since giving birth to Maggie in 1997 (Except for the one day in 2007 when I weighed in at 199, the day before Thanksgiving). Unfortunately, I did not reach this goal. I ended the year at 215. However, I did lose weight from when I really started working on it which was April. I was actually down  213 the week before Christmas.   Then I got the flu and accompanying inflammation (and bad holiday eating choices--pizza, ice cream, chinese food, etc) caused me to gain some of the weight back this week. I am already going back down to that 213 weight and my short term goal is be down to 200 or less by April 1. (I'm learning that my goals lack deadlines, so this is a goal of 5 pounds per month)

Even though I did not reach my goal, I feel like 2012 was a success because I have greatly changed my attitude toward working out and food. I now crave the working out but I used to think was a chore. And when I have to eat food that isn't as good for me, I really think about it with some trepidation. I know longer enjoy eating at chicken express more then very occasionally. I used to eat there several times per week, and in July made it a goal to eat there no more than once a week. However, I soon found that I didn't like eating there at all. (OK, i slipped last Friday and ate cheese sticks) Of course, this was partially aided by Maggie, who became a vegetarian this year. She does eat fish, but having to find restaurants that work for her diet has made me make better choices as well.

For 2013, my goal is to work out 5 to 6 times a week in a combination of weights and cardio. I wear a Fitbit every day to track my ambient movement. I have a goal of net calories each day of no more than 1750-1800. I am also going to spend the next three weeks working the wheat dairy  and Soy out of my diet. This will probably not be a permanent change, but I want to see if some of my lingering sinus issues are food related. I ordered the DVD series of Les Mills combat, and am using daily burn and daily burn tracker to have other workouts for variety. As soon as my cough goes away I will begin cardio workouts again. In the meantime, I hope to start walking again Thursday or Friday. I may also be able to do some weight workout even before I can really get back to cardio. With my history of asthma, and bronchitis, the flu leftovers have really kicked me in the fanny.

The next memorable area for 2012 has to do with work. 2012 found my work very profitable and prosperous. I have been very blessed with more private contract hours and I've ever had before. The fall of 2012 found me in a position I have wanted for two years. I am the part-time music therapist at Southlake ISD. I work with a wonderful friend named Melynda . I work three full days per week, with preschool and special-needs children. I knew that I wanted the job when I heard it was posted over year ago. But they hired someone else initially. That girl went back to school for the position came open again. I applied for it again this summer, but somebody else got the job. That girl  got a job full-time in another school District. I waited all summer to finally be interviewed. They interviewed three people, and I didn't get the job. They hired someone else, then she found out her husband was being transferred out-of-state. And I got the job!. I feel very blessed to work in such a wonderful school district. I've had good feedback from my teachers and students, and hope this job continues for many years to come.

While I was waiting to hear about the school district job I took on more contracts. I had gotten up to 20 hours of private in-home contracts (which is full time in the grand scheme of contact hours, paperwork and drive time). When I took the job with the school district, I tried for a short while to continue seeing everyone, but it quickly became evident that this is not going to work! I now see 12 hours of in home clients each week, in addition to my weekly school district. It has worked out to be a good balance, except that I miss being home at night as I was all summer. The extra work is helping to pay off bills, and has enabled cash flow purchases such as a different car,  a new transmission for Peter's car, and a new stove when ours broke just before Christmas. I feel like the Lord has blessed me in many ways this year.

Maggie and I were incredibly blessed in 2012 to go to many of the  NATRC ride (side note...Siri won't type NATRC. I will only write "in ATRC". When I said NAYTRACK that didn't work either, lol)  I was unable to attend one, so while she is getting 100% jacket, I am only able to buy a jacket onto which I will embroidery 93%, which is what you get for attending 13 out of 14 rides. Maggie ended the year as Junior reserve champion for the United States as well as Junior reserve champion for the region. At first she was very disappointed that she was not the regional champion, but then we found out that she was High Point average score Junior rider. This is a huge national award and made her very happy. Her horse also earned a national championship. What this means is that her horse got either one first and two seconds or Or two first and one second, one of those ride being out-of-state. Since she was the only junior running open all season she got her placings but no trouble. But we had to attend a minimum of 10 rides for her to gather the required 60 point. During the process, we went to Missouri to a ride there at was very difficult. We also made some good friends along the way. The Lineback's from Georgia, came to many of the rides, as Tammy was working on the highest NATRC award, the Presidents cup. We were able to spend a lot of time with Tammy and her daughter Marcy through all the riding. Their friendship has been a huge blessing. In fact, Maggie is going to attend the NATRC national convention in Denver Colorado in February. She will be flying alone and staying with the Linebacks. 

My own personal NATRC goals were not Met this year. I had hoped to also get my national championship, but the out-of-state first or second eluded me. After starting the year very strong, my year fizzled a bit. I Received my first and second placing early in the year. However, I could never get a first or second placing out-of-state. I ended up in fourth place for the year regionally. I did not place nationally.

This year we are both backing off heavy competition to give the horses a break. We have opted to ride in the CP (competitive pleasure) division, which is easier and gives us more time for lounging after the ride. We have good friends who ride novice and they are committing to riding a lot of rides, so I expect we will spend time riding with them. I expect to return to open in a year or two. I will be attending and NATRC rides with Liberty, but I am also starting Fiera in Texas Trail challenge. Maggie is going to concentrate on school now that she is in the ninth grade, and going to so many NATRC rides cuts into the days she can attend school (school kind of frowns on you not being there).

I need to talk about Fiera's training the last month...but that's another post.

This blog post has gone on long enough. I will be proofreading since I dictated it through Siri. However, please forgive, and possibly be amused by, any mistakes that you fine as reading it. I am not a great proofreader.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Fiera in training

So today I had thought I would ride Fiera but when push came to shove, loud school children and being alone in the pasture got to me and I didn't ride. I tacked her up to pony her off liberty and then realized that the girth I had put on her was the same one Liberty needed for his saddle so in the end it was all ground work.

I 'drove' her tacked and saddled around the pasture. I wanted to Practice the reining technique of only guiding her when I meant to and other wise leaving her mouth alone. At first it was easy but then the other horses in other pastures got riled up and that gave me something to practice keeping her attention over. It got kind kind of exciting because I didn't have a lead an she was acting very Bucky very close to me. So we walked in to make some tack changes.

I used the bit I have always used and she kept chewing on it so I swapped to Oly' s but and the excessive chewing stopped. (Note to self, no one likes that other bit; sell it and buy another Myler). After changing bits and adding a lead things were good for another little while but she got tired of working and when I flipped the line at her or a whoa she went into a bucking and rearing fit that made me happy I wasn't riding. She was determined to have her way and I want not going to influence her. But I did. So we did more ground work, some lingering at different speeds and lots of direction changes. I do believe I had the last laugh.

Not sure when I will ride her again. I'm not convinced I have a saddle that fits and I think I'd like to see her not have such a temper first. I was going to take her to Stillwater but that's not going to work out right now. Getting a new stove and moving Maggie's horse to Azle is killing my training budget. I will have to settle for lessons for now.