• Charlotte Thorogood

When competition doesn't have to be competitive

Wow - these are words I didn't think would come out of my mouth. I think a competitive edge is brought about through both nature and nurture; I was born with an edge that wanted to win, but I also think my family life was quite competitive. When the first question you're asked when you return from a hockey game is 'did you win?', it instils the importance of beating others. There's nothing wrong with healthy competition; it drives us, motivates us and, dare I say it, actually teaches us how to lose gracefully.

I think over the last few weeks, I've learnt to not worry as much about always achieving. Being well is an achievement in itself! Yoga is helping change my focus; it's all about being content with what you have and realising that you're just happy being you. I'm content to say I don't need to run another marathon and I'm not going to ever be a domesticated goddess in the kitchen (sorry, Robin)!

When just 'doing' is an achievement!

I really tested this last weekend at a little local cross country with a friend. In hindsight, I was a bit premature embarking on this adventure three weeks after leaving hospital, but you can't knock my enthusiasm! The day on paper would definitely be classified as unsuccessful, however Georgeanna (my lovely understanding friend) and I, came away with a smile on our faces (and some nice photos!) and that's what counts. It'll be a memory we look back at and laugh about.

No pressure!

I used to put so much pressure on myself, especially with Louis (our horse). If I didn't ride well enough or something went wrong, I'd lose sleep for a few days torturing myself about what I'd do differently. It's important to live in the moment, learn from it but quickly move on. If you dwell, you're essentially living in the past and you most certainly can't change it! I can now reflect on everything I achieved with Louis and think 'wow'. I always wanted for more, but actually we went to places I never thought we would and cantering down the centre line in tails is definitely something that no one can take away - and if it never happens again with another horse, that doesn't matter!

We're all made of pretty tough stuff

Please don't get me wrong, when the time's right I still have that fighting spirit. It's what makes me the person I am. Getting through this episode has used all of that and I've proved I can handle it. Whatever life throws at you, you find a way to make it work. What I'm saying is don't stress the small stuff; a year down the line, you'll have wondered just why you wasted the energy on it all...

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