I’m sure you’re not surprised that I’ve been watching the equestrian events of the 2016 Summer Olympics. One of my favorites to watch is the eventing competition, which has been described as the triathlon for horses. Talk about some gorgeous, fit athletes! And yes, I am referring to the horses. One of the horses from the Brazilian eventing team has an unusual name: Summon Up The Blood. The announcers calling the competition noted that “summoning up the blood” is quite an accurate image of what is needed for this grueling sport. Though “Bob” (his much less picturesque nickname) didn’t win a medal, he did complete the entire series of events respectably. Click here to see photos and learn more about him and his rider, Carlos Parro.
Eventing horses are cared for and pampered in every way possible: from optimum nutrition and carefully thought-out workouts, to chiropractic care and massage, to liniment baths, “ice boots” to cool their hardworking legs, and any number of high tech therapies. They are valuable partners to their riders (not to mention just plain valuable), and no one expects them to do their jobs without proper care.
Why do we expect any less for ourselves?
Yes, I am comparing myself to a horse. Bear with me.
In July and August, we’ve had punishing heat and humidity, and I admit I’m dragging. The slightest effort outside (watering my orchids, for example), leaves me soaked in sweat and ready for a cold drink. I’m tired. I have no ambition. The idea of keeping after my goals, even my indoor ones, does not appeal. I need to “summon up the blood”—find a way to motivate myself all the way to the finish line. I’d love to skip to November when we usually get some cooler weather and I get an energy boost, but I also don’t want to wish away any of my life, not even the hot, sweaty bits.
At this point in the year, I’ve lost the momentum and excitement of a new year, and the adrenaline panic of a waning year hasn’t yet set in. (“Oh, no, it’s December and I haven’t reached my goals yet!) Until then, how can I “summon up the blood” and maintain my motivation and momentum?
Though I’m not quite as well-cared for as Summon Up The Blood, I am placing more emphasis on self-care right now. Since August is a low point for me, energy-wise, now is the time to sprinkle in treats and rest breaks. August isn’t the time for me to start major new projects. It’s the time to set small goals, and break down larger ones into ever smaller, teeny, tiny (easily accomplished) ones. In the ongoing bathroom renovation (yes, we’re still working on it), I’m trying to do one or two things per week. This week I ordered the replacement globes for the light fixture and called myself done.
Now is the time to use my imagination to make the same old, same old more fun and/or easier and quicker.
To lighten up my schedule to allow for my lack of energy. That energy will return, as long as I don’t overdo it now.
I’ve even visited my chiropractor and had a massage to counteract the effects of stripping wallpaper and priming my bathroom walls.
But I do draw the line at ice baths.
Do you have any tricks to “summon up the blood”?