The outside fog and the inner fog (horse-riding journal 4)
This is a journal-like exercise pertaining to a 14 h horse-back trail ride, in a region of hills and mountains, between 800 m and 2300 m altitude, a total of 58 km, in spring time, in a team of 14 individuals: 7 riders and 7 horses.
Hope you enjoy the story as much as we enjoyed the ride and we invite you to tag along in one of the Haidook Experiences opened to the public.
The fourth „chapter” is this. The previous one can be read here https://madalinavintu.ro/2018/08/13/mental-physical-preparation-horse-riding-journal-3/ The rest will follow soon.
Let me be clear about one thing: I hate fog! I hate to walk through fog. I hate to drive through fog. I hate riding through fog.
When going through fog I feel like my brain is becoming clogged with inner fog, which prevents me from making sense of my surroundings. Keeping my eyes open becomes so uncomfortable that every now and then I simply close my eyes. I loose both sight and vision.
Further along the way, the Leaota peak was immersed in dense fog. The actual peak is at the end of a series of “look alike” rocky peaks. We started joking about “are we there yet?” after the 2nd one. If you haven’t seen the Shrek movie, I strongly recommend you watch it. Our situation was perfectly illustrated by the Donkey asking this question over and over again. The fog insisted to join us all the way to the top. We have pictures to prove it! (the peak and the frustration as well)
The one thing we actually regret the most and is a direct consequence of the fog is that although we reached the peak, we could not have a view on our next trail-plan, in which Leaota peak is just the first long-stop point. Stay tuned for our next adventure – the long trail.
On this particular day, everyone joined me in these feelings of rejection towards the fog.
On the simple principle of 0 and 1, the Universe did lend us a hand, just in time and at the right place. The decision to turn left or right on a hillside was significantly facilitated by those 30 seconds of lifted fog.
The problem with the (external) fog is that I lose all orientation and with it, the sense of direction. I could see the trail, but I could not understand where we are, how long do we still have to go and towards what. Outside fog became inside confusion. For me, loss of orientation means loss of motivation and that translates into lack of will to invest energy. My inner conversation was a shy try to keep focused and reduce the frustration which was building up. The horses kept walking but the ground they covered was invisible to me and thus my understating of progress was limited.
I’ve learned some practical lessons about goal orientation, visibility and sight: a) continuing to advance is important even if you can’t actually perceive the progress, b) trusting the team to know the way helps, c) having the visual representation of the way or the goal is vital for motivation.