I’m just a titch stiff today after working the mini yesterday in the high-80s heat, and a little nostalgic for the days when I was more on top of my training game … and my fitness.

Athletically, I was always more like a souped-up hotrod pickup than a sports car, but these days I’m more like a heavy duty dump truck. I haul a lot of garbage around, but I’m not super-maneuverable, and I won’t break any land speed records as I grind myself up through the gears.

As I started doing some at-liberty work with the mini in the round pen yesterday, I was mentally getting after myself to increase my response time and hustle. I felt like I was getting in the groove and went to switch up direction mid-sprint, but executed my rollback on a scattering of dry, grass stems the mini had rejected from her hay all week. It was slick and shiny as new straw, which is to say it was like spinning out on Zamboni-smoothed ice.

There have been more spectacular falls of this nature, but I was hovering horizontally in the air a bit before landing slightly butt-first on my favorite, weak SI joint, then splatting flat out on my back. All the way to my head. Got dirty, mucky hay in my hair and down my back. Awesome start to the training.

I scrambled up and swiped at the crud while hustling back to work (mentally checking to see if that SI joint was flopping like a bad U-joint). It was all good.

About 60 seconds later, I had to fling the halter toward the mini’s rear end to keep her from ditching work for a coffee break and a little nuzzle with her horse neighbor. I didn’t have a good hold of the lead rope on my anchor hand, so the halter and rope shot like a line drive totally out of my control and straight into the water trough. Score two points for me.

All this in the first two minutes of the training session.

Honestly, I considered that these two mishaps might be ill omens telling me I should not tackle this task that day, but, y’know, I’m rarely smart enough to pay attention to hints of danger, so I pressed on. The good news is that no other mishaps occurred (and no woman parts were harmed that night in the training of this mini).

However, I did come to a better understanding of just how out of shape I am.

I was a red-faced, gasping-for-air, sweat-streaming mess by the end of the training session. Oh, and let’s not forget I also had the mucky particles from my fall plus the horse scum from petting and rubbing down a sweaty mini. At this weakest and tiredest moment, I had to go fetch hay for feeding time and made a further mess out of myself getting itchy, pokey hay chaff stuck to my still sweat-dripping skin because nothing was cooperating. (Yes, I was whining. Duh.)

That’s when my neighbors showed up. Perfect.

Did I mention that I was doing this training session while wearing a teal-colored T-shirt and red with black and white Coca-cola print, light cotton sweats/pajama bottoms?

Oh yeah, I’m all that at pam[at]viewfromthenorth40.com