When we were halfway through the Walking Downhill is the Hardest Thing Connor Has Ever Done, Ever lesson two weeks ago, my trainer made a point that stuck with me.
|Trainer imparting some pre-stadium wisdom in May.|
We were about halfway through, past the 'I don't wanna!' "tantrum", and he was starting to get it.
"That was good!" she said.
"Yeah," I said, "There were a couple of funky steps in the middle, but otherwise it was good."
"You should be pleased with that. He's not capable of doing every step perfectly yet, but that was a good effort and a big improvement from the beginning of the lesson." She paused. "Sometimes I feel like it's easy for us to make them feel like what they're giving you is never enough. There will always be something to work on no matter what level you're at, so it's important to take a step back and say 'You did good with that!' even if it's not totally there yet. They can feel what you're thinking."
|Be happy with where you are...(first show, June 2012)|
I joked, "It sounds like you're giving relationship advice too!" but it strongly resonated with me. I'm a relentless perfectionist and pursuer of improvement in all areas of my life, and I know that he feels it.
I can be demanding, I can be disappointed with less than our best, but in the end, it's a relationship of two souls on a journey with no real end. We have to be happy with the steps along the way to the end game at the top level we'll probably never achieve.
Like my choir teacher in high school said, to improve in singing you have first be happy with where you are, and second, be willing to change. Protect your horse from your inner perfectionist and tell him he's done well even when your inner perfectionist wants more. She'll always want more.
|Teaching me how to ride both mentally and physically|