Sunday, 1 February 2009

On Hot Water Bottles and teaching tactics...The last few days...

...were rather busy! On Friday and Saturday I ran my Training Days and was totally knackered by Sunday morning ;) It felt good in many ways though!
It's fantastic to work with people who really want to improve and it really pushes me to find more and more ways to help them to do so.

Here is a txt I got from one of my riders the morning after the Training Day: "Omg! My back, bum and legs kill! Feel great for it though!". Hmm..;)

It's very very cold. If you are considering becoming a riding instructor I would strongly advise that you do not start at this time of year.
If you go for it anyway you probably need some sort of a tactic of dealing with moments when the last thing you want is to go outside...My solution is a plain lie. You say to yourself: "Hmm, lunch time is over, there seem to be a blizzard outside, there is a wind coming from as far as Siberia (nice of it to stop by but why do I have to say hello!) and it seems to be pretty cold...now rewind...lovely warm seaside, 25C outside, gentle breeze, fab arena surface and I have this recliner chair in one of the corners. I better hurry up and go teaching!". See, it works.

OK, I would lie if I said I ALWAYS want to go out and teach. Well, let's be honest, I have days when I just want to stay in the warmth and say not a single word to anybody. If I feel like that I need a stronger tactic than the seaside image...
What I do is I go back in time and think about myself as a 14 year old, madly wanting to learn more about being a super-mega rider...I helped out at the local stables and in return had a lesson for free once a fortnight. My instructor was this forty something rough little woman who knew a lot indeed and when she felt so inclined she would give us amazing lessons. Unfortunately, that only happened once in a few months. So every fortnight, all of us mad teenagers would work like crazy for those 45 minutes lessons and she would turn up, light her cigarette and muffled: 'Have some fun today kids, I'll watch you from here'.
So now, when I know someone really wants to learn, really wants to be better and I feel like saying 'just have some fun today' I go back to that feeling of painful disappointment, let it sink for a minute and then I go out there and try to give the best lessons I can. It is worth it.

We hacked this morning. It was freezing but I do love Richmond Park.



Today, this little pink fellow got me through the day of teaching in sub zero temperatures. Thumbs up for Hot Water Bottles!



For those of you who might not know, it's my birthday tomorrow and I am very much looking forward to my birthday hack with my dear friend and evening with Ricky.
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