From Endurance to Dressage
Rider Fitness: Workouts
While I might not belong to Club Skinny, I've certainly lost a few pounds and inches since the end of summer. I needed to. I had let myself get a little chunky and wasn't feeling my best. Most of my colleagues and friends think I am pretty thin now, but I know what lurks under my waist band!
Funny story: I went to a CAbi party the other night, hosted by my friend, Shelly, a CAbi consultant. As we were all trying on clothes, I whined about my little fat belly that was pooching out under a cute top I was trying on. Shelly teased me about being worried about my "muffin top" while laughingly claiming that I had nothing on her; she had the whole bakery!
Don't we all feel that way - like bakery owners? Why can't we all own the liquor store instead with our rock hard six packs?
I've already written about getting my OH MY GOD! weight back to a reasonable level here, here, and here. After my last consultation with my nutrition/exercise expert (friend, Lori), I quit weighing myself and instead paid more attention to how I looked and felt. I have gained a couple of pounds, but I know those are muscle pounds (yeah, yeah … that's what everyone says).
My clothes are fitting better than ever, and I feel really healthy. My energy level is astounding: I get up at 4:45 a.m., exercise, work a full day, ride and mess with two horses daily, cook dinner, and keep our life organized and running. But most importantly, I am just genuinely happy!
My workout routine consists of a slew of exercises designed to strengthen my core and back while also improving my balance. Each morning I do a 60 second plank, several sets of exercises with my resistance band to tone my ams, diamond pushups, 100 jumping jacks, a pilates core exercise where I lie on my back holding my legs up while paddling my arms (don't know the name), and then I get on the treadmill for at least 5 minutes. I repeat the jumping jacks in the evening as well as 5 - 20 more minutes on the treadmill.
The last morning exercise I do is done while brushing my teeth. This one has done a lot to help me find my balance and to lower my center of gravity. I call it my Toothbrush Exercise. To do the exercise, you cross one leg on top of your knee and crouch slightly. I hold the pose for 90 seconds while I brush my bottom teeth with my electric toothbrush. I then return both feet to the ground for 30 seconds. When my tooth brush next beeps, I cross the other leg for another 90 seconds. For the final 30 seconds I return both feet to the ground again.
The whole thing takes four minutes; my toothbrush beeps every 30 seconds and shuts off at 2 minutes so I run through the cycle twice. I spend only three minutes strengthening my core, butt, thighs, and calves, but it is really helping. The bonus is that my dentist loves how clean my teeth are!
I obviously need to spend more time with my resistance bands; those arms don't look as firm as I thought! Things just don't stay as tight and firm in your 40s as they do when you're in your 20s (said with a deep sigh and a shake of the head).
Here's what I looked like last summer … Speaking of which, those exercise bands are calling my name!
Next time I'll share how my Nike Fuel Band inspires me to MOVE!
3/30/2014 12:56:02 am
You're looking great!
3/30/2014 01:01:28 am
Aw … thanks, Judy. I FEEL great. :0)
3/30/2014 10:30:05 pm
That's very kind of you, Lauren. It's hard, there's no doubt about that. I love pizza, burgers, and fries as much as the next gal!
3/31/2014 10:12:26 pm
Thank you, Amanda. I don't want it to get worse, either, but my friends in their 50s tell me that it does get harder with each decade. I have been really focused about it in my 40s because of that. I want to be 95 thinking my arms look pretty good!
3/31/2014 10:10:24 pm
Hope it works. :0)
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: