Glynda A. H.
There are many reasons for working out—to get in shape, to lose weight, to become healthier, to look good for a wedding or a vacation or some other special event. The reason I chose to work out was to get better at another sport, an equestrian sport called dressage, which is kind of like doing ballet on horseback. My problem was that I am a relatively small person who is the proud owner of a very large horse.
Over the years I struggled greatly as I attempted to ride my horse in competitions because I just did not have the strength. I must have felt like a flea to her, perched on her back, just a minor irritation. (See this YouTube video to get a sense of the size differential!)
Everything changed when a famous trainer of horses and riders told me that I could improve my riding by 15% if I’d just lift weights 3 times a week and that I should just go buy a set of dumbbells. Well, that was an exaggeration of course, because what I needed was a great deal more than a set of weights or even a gym membership. I needed someone who could design a program for me, motivate me, push me, know what I could achieve and how to achieve it better than I could know. Working out in gyms has never been a favorite pastime of mine, and I have joined more of them, only to never go, than I care to remember. Enter Andre. He changed it all, and now I go to the gym, not just because I want to get better at my riding, which I of course do, but because I like what it is doing for my body and spirit.
This summer I competed in several horse shows, and to my surprise, I was not only stronger but I felt more confident too, able to influence my horse instead of just being a passenger. And not to brag, but I did well in some of these competitions too. I think I owe how I ride today to Andre. Riding is my passion. I feel most complete and alive when I am riding, as strange as that may sound. It had always grieved me that I could not do justice to my big horse. But that is different now. Andre took the time to learn about my sport, and he even attended one of my horse shows. He researched the kinds of exercises that would best prepare me in terms of strength and flexibility. He planned excellent sessions, and he pushed me when I needed it to get out of my comfort zone, but at the same time he was always careful to protect me from injury (particularly my tender back). He made the sessions fun because he is fun, and I started to look forward to them, not as something I had to do, but as something that has become an important positive part of my life and that I wanted to do. Thanks, Andre. I am a better rider because of you, and I am healthier and stronger and happier.
Glynda A. H.