First Sport Love

Do any of you have a sport that you absolutely love? One that, if you could, you would dedicate all your time to it? I have one like that too, but it might not be what you are thinking it is.

As most of you know, I love Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I train three days a week and completely enjoy it. I am naturally a competitive person. Sometimes I get a little too competitive. Not to the point where I’m going to take it out on someone else, but I definitely get mad at myself if I mess something up or don’t perform as well as I know I can. I don’t know why, but competition is part of me. Maybe it’s because I was raised with a lot of boys?? Who knows.

But, here’s the thing. Jiu-Jitsu is not my first love. Far from it, actually. My first love is Dressage. Some (if not all) of you are wondering what dressage is. Dressage is a classical form of riding. It was first used as a war tactic back in the day. Since horses really aren’t used in war anymore, dressage has become more of a sport than a necessity. But, it still holds its draw for me. I can’t get enough of it.

I think I love dressage because of everything it involves. I have been in love with horses since I was a tiny girl. I was on a horse shortly after I was born. And I’ve been hooked ever since. I wasn’t originally introduced to dressage though. The first type of riding I ever did was Western gaming and Western pleasure. I loved it! And then I discovered some amazing kids’ books about eventing. Eventing is a sport that involves riding your horse through a three-day event that includes a dressage test, a stadium jumping round, and a cross-country jumping round.

So, you may ask, why don’t I love eventing and not just dressage?? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eventing too. I love to jump, but it’s not my main focus. My main reason for that (I think) is because I’ve never had a horse that I was able to jump. I jumped on other people’s horses, but I never had one of my own. My horse could have jumped, but we never were able to find a trainer around here that was able to help us. And, because of that, I’m not very good at jumping. I can do it, but it’s definitely not the prettiest thing to watch!

But dressage? Oh, man. I could do it all day. I absolutely love it. There is something almost magical about being in tune with the horse underneath you. Dressage takes so much practice and precision. It is time-consuming, but so worth it. It is an amazing feeling to ride into a dressage ring and know that horse underneath you so well that you can feel exactly what they are thinking. I can’t even find the words to explain that feeling. It’s amazing. I feel like I’m on top of the world when I’m on a horse.

Another thing I love is that dressage is hard. So hard. It takes a lot of dedication and practice. There are so many things that have to be done perfectly to get the desired outcome. If one small aid is wrong, your horse could give you a completely different movement or speed than what you were actually wanting. You have to trust that 1200-pound animal underneath you to understand what you want and to respect and trust you enough to follow through with the correct action. Dressage is the epitome of team work. Trust between horse and rider is the foundation of dressage.

Some of you are probably wondering why I don’t write more about the sport that I am completely in love with. Well, I haven’t been able to do much with dressage over the last ten years. I have desperately been trying to get back into it, but so far it has been quite elusive. It breaks my heart to not be on a horse every day, but it’s not what God has for me right now. I do still have my horse, but he is not able to be ridden anymore. He contracted Lyme Disease a few years ago and never completely recovered. I love that horse to pieces, so he is now just a pasture ornament and enjoying his days. I have had him since he was a month old. He is my big baby. I can’t imagine life without that horse. He is a jerk to most everyone else, but he is definitely a Mama’s boy. I love him even when he is a butthead.

The plan, eventually, is to purchase a second horse and begin the journey again. I am so excited for that day to come! Part of that process includes purchasing our own property so as to keep the horses at home with me. That would allow me to ride each day and to give our children lessons. They want to learn to ride as badly as I do! I love it! My husband is not too impressed that I’ve “indoctrinated” our children into loving horses, but I think it’s the best thing ever! Horses are either in your blood or they’re not. They are certainly in my blood. And, apparently, our children got more of my blood than my husband’s!! Yay!!!

So, what do I do in the meantime? You guessed it. I train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Jiu-Jitsu is a sport that God has sort of dropped into my lap for the time being. Do I love Jiu-Jitsu? Yes. Is it what I want to do with the rest of my life? No. Dressage is my first, and biggest, love. But God has been gracious enough to give me something in Jiu-Jitsu to pass the time, in a sense, until I’m able to take up dressage again. I am working my tail off to get back to my first love, but it’s going to take some time.

The sport of dressage is unbelievably difficult in itself, but when you have other obstacles to go through and over as well, it makes it a million times harder. I’m hoping and praying that I will be able to start training dressage again soon. I’m trying to wait as patiently as possible. God knows the desires of our heart. He knows what I have wanted since I was a tiny girl. I’ve had the same dream/goal since I was able to put a thought together. God knows. I just need to trust Him to work it out for me.

There is something that I have been struggling with all these years. And that is trust. I KNOW God can do anything. I KNOW He knows my desires and dreams. The Bible is very clear that God wants us to ask Him for what we want. He wants us to bring our desires and dreams before Him. I also KNOW that it won’t happen in my time table. I KNOW I need to wait on God and trust His timing. I’m having trouble with the patience portion of trust. I want everything to happen now. That is obviously not God’s timeline. If He would have allowed things to happen on my timeline, it would have been disastrous. I can safely say that as I look back on our life’s happenings these last few years. God is taking care of us, and my dreams and desires have not fallen on deaf ears. He hears every plea we have. Sometimes He allows the answer right away. Other times He tells us to wait. The waiting portion is the worst! But I know it’s for the best. God only wants the best for us. Nothing less.

Again, I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us. Our dreams have been in the waiting period for many, many years. And, who knows, they might stay there for many more years, but I’m hoping to work on the whole trust thing. You’d think I would be a pro at this by now, but no. Some days, I do really well. Then other days I am so stir crazy that it feels like I’m going to explode. I can’t wait! Today is one of those “I feel like I’m going to explode” days.

God has so much power. He can do whatever is needed, whenever it is needed. I can’t wait to watch Him work. This is something that has been in the works for many, many years. It’s always fun to watch something come together. Especially when you know you couldn’t have done any of it. God has a beautiful way of working things out without us even knowing what is going on. We can almost always look back and see the pieces falling into place as things happened, but we rarely see them falling into place as they are happening. God is good like that. Personally, I think He loves to surprise us. He loves to see our face when the pieces line up perfectly and we realize that we had nothing to do with it. I think that’s His favorite part of granting our desires and wishes. God wants to see us happy. That doesn’t mean it comes without heartache and frustration sometimes, but He does that to help us see what life is like. God will always take care of us. Even if we don’t see how He does it until after the fact.

God knows what He is doing! Enjoy your weekend, everyone!



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