Friday, October 18, 2013

Don't Be Shy

I'm not a huge Cat Stevens fan although some of the songs still make me feel like I did when I was a teenager. "Don't Be Shy" is one of those hippie songs that really was very valuable to me growing up.  Our family was one of the typical 1960's families where you were expected to "look good" and not show those ugly emotions like sadness or anger in public.  My parents of course have caught up with the times are much more relaxed but the 60's and 70's were very tense and image-oriented for us.  So, some of the hippie and punk rock songs of that era were valuable to me in relaxing  ... and allowing myself to be socially unacceptable - which I've apparently been embracing every since.

I'm finally crawling out of the abyss of this bad cold and am starting to have the energy to catch up with everything.  I had my normal amount of energy yesterday at work which was great because I had a great experience with my first student of the day.  She is five years old and super motivated because her parents said if she takes riding lessons for five years and really tries they'll get her a horse and she is bound and determined to meet that goal.  She is an absolute joy to work with!  But yesterday was extra exciting because she was really scared to trot last week and we worked through it this week and by the end of the lesson she wasn't scared of it anymore and wants to trot her entire lesson next week.  Seeing how excited and proud of herself she was, and seeing how excited her mom was for her was so awesome - that right there is why I love this job even if it does pay three times less than my last career.  But honestly, to be able to be a part of those moments in a child's life make it more than worth it!

Amazingly I received my human massage license in the mail a few days ago.  I was sure with how long it had already taken it would be 2014 before I received it.  And that means that instead of going through all the hoops of taking the national test and getting certified for equine massage, all I have to do is apply for an endorsement on my human license.  Yay! I'm sending that application in today.  I'm not going to start working professionally until I'm done with the 200 series of my equine massage program though because I want more education before I start professionally practicing.  Still, I can't believe I'm actually achieving this goal that a year ago seemed impossible with thoughts like "how will I afford school?" "How will I have time for school?"  And just that feeling (that thankfully I ignored) that a middle-aged woman with Rheumatoid Arthritis and severe joint damage can't be an equine massage therapist.  But honestly, my teacher's never seemed to notice.  I don't think they even know.  But I've gotten so good at compensating using my hands and arms in such a way that most people don't notice I have almost no range of motion in my left wrist and very little in my right and limited range of motion in my elbows.  So there world! I did it! So there!

As part of my education I went to the Gerd Heuschmann clinic a couple days ago in a neighboring town.  That was really cool because it validated so much of what I'm learning to hear a well-respected veterinarian talking about all the same stuff I'm learning not only in my equine massage school but also from Trainer K when it comes to riding and training Maiden.  I was actually telling the director of the pony school about it and telling her that so much of what he said is stuff she wants us to focus on when we're teaching and she said that's because she's a huge fan of us.  Very cool.

I had hoped to be able to meet him and say hello, but I ended up having the opportunity to have lunch with him.  I went to the local PCC to grab some deli food and went to the barn where the clinic was thinking that I would go up to the break room and eat my food while catching up on my class notes for pony school.  But I got up to the break room and he was eating lunch with the barn manager and no one else was there.  I couldn't believe that! Here is an opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with Gerd Heuschmann in a casual, one-on-one environment! Where are the rest of the clinic participants? But it was fun for me because as soon as I told him I was in school for equine massage therapy he had a lot he wanted to say!  We also talked about other things, and one of the best non-horse pieces of advice he had was "You should move to Germany so your daughter could go to university for free."  I had no idea college was free in Germany.  Wouldn't that be nice.  I actually went home and looked at the map and said to my husband, "German's a pretty easy language and I used to know it - I'm sure it would come back quickly.  And they need software developers and look! Germany is right next to Austria! We could holiday in Vienna and I could hang out at the Spanish Riding School!"  My husband wasn't quite as impressed with that idea as I was.

A little 80's punk rock to start your day.  This song probably saved my sanity as a messed up teenager.
Now I just hope my daughter doesn't relate to it when she's a teen!

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