Secrets to simplifying your R&R life
|October 5, 2015||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
This article almost made it into the link luv post yesterday, but was too good to just leave as a one sentence blurb in the middle of 20+ other links when I could add my own tips, and solicit yours!
*R&R sadly does not mean rest and relaxation….it means Ridin’ and Runnin’. As opposed to my other 2 favorite R’s: Reading and ‘Riting.
1. Like the linked blogger I don’t fold my riding or running clothes. I’ve done bins in the past, but what is working really well right now is using drawer dividers in my big ole dresser drawers to separate riding pants, running shorts, running tights, long sleeve shirts etc. They are contained, visible, and even though they aren’t folded they are neat. Something fairly important to my neurotic tendencies.
2. Keep a spare set of riding and running clothes in your trunk. No kidding, I’ve actually driven past trail heads and realized I had an hour to spare and took off exploring. Or I realized through some schedule glitch I have an extra 45 min between the time of “got off work” and “need to be home” and there’s time to go by the stable…as long as I don’t have to go home first.
3. If you are like me, you can’t/won’t run every day for a variety of reasons (I tend to get injured) so integrating running as a daily habit can be difficult. How much more simple if you had dedicated time EVERY DAY that you devoted to running? The solution is to make a habit of walking every day and wearing running clothes, and turning some of those walks into runs.
4. On the riding side of developing a habit, talk yourself into going to the stable for “just one simple thing” every day. “Just to pick feet”. “Just to check the supplement level in the tub”. “Just to untangle manes”. And then see how much time and energy you have.
4. Don’t just save your running and riding clothes for running and riding. You do own riding/running clothes that make you feel good right? Why would you want to wear anything else in your down time? Often the lack of needing to change clothes for a ride or a run simplifies the run or ride enough that it pushes me to actually DO instead of just PLAN. BTW I do suggest you save a special treat for when you do go riding or running that you don’t allow yourself ANY OTHER TIME. For running, that is wearing my deliciously comfortable running socks and listening to my favorite podcasts. For riding? I’m not sure. Pretty sure linking my ice cream habit to riding time if probably a good idea.
6. Don’t fight your environment or natural tendencies. All it does is use up your willpower. Find a way around them. I’m not a get up and run in the mornings person. I’m just NOT. Even when I try to employ the power of auto-decisions. The basic “simplify tip” is: Get up one hour earlier (which is also something the linked blogger suggests). However, for me instead of using that hour for running or riding, I get up with the promise of guilt free blog reading or writing time. Or catching up on facebook. The trick is to treat that hour like money in the bank and preserve it for spending later in the day.
7. Reduce running/riding to its bare essentials regularly and evaluate complicated routines critically. Dedicate a day a week or a week a month to reducing riding or running down to its bare essentials. No plans, no schedules, no target miles or paces.. Decide what level of complexity beyond that is making the sport more enjoyable, and what is taking away the enjoyment. Adjust accordingly. Given two equal choices, choose the more convenient and simple one. Seems obvious, but sometimes I look back on routines that give me marginal to no benefit that I’ve chosen the more complicated option because of pride, wanting to save a couple of bucks, or some other silly reason that some how mattered more in that moment then simplicity….but in the long-term is hurting me because now I’m NOT doing it at all because I’m overwhelmed.
8. Auto-schedule as much as possible. Whether it’s the delivery of supplements, scheduling trimmer/farrier appointments, or scheduling the next vet routine care appointment at the end of the current one.
9. Make your saddle as impulse friendly as possible. Covered stirrups and full fleece means no special shoe or pant requirements. Riding is simply driving to the stable and hopping on the horse.
10. Spend the time to organize your gear. At home I don’t have to rummage through cupboards and huge bins to find the water bottle I want – that giant bin is full of smaller bins that organize bottles and lids and packs. I utilize bento boxes for small items. I keep a plastic bin in the food cupboard filled with saddle and trail appropriate food/snacks/fuel. At the stable I have 2 full sets of tack that are different colors. One color is kept in the trailer, the other set is kept in the tack room. I’ve put away tack, blankets, and pads that I use very rarely into storage bins so they aren’t cluttering up the tack room and making it harder to access what I do use on a daily basis. I can quickly grab what I need and go.
Bonus tip: Don’t work or have kids…just kidding. Kinda.
What are you tips for simplifying the process of running or riding?
I keep my riding clothes in a pile on top of a bench in my bedroom because I lack even the compulsion to use a bin, but same idea. I wash my hair maybe 1-3 times a week. I keep my riding gear (boots, etc) at the barn so that there’s no real excuse not to ride. Honestly though, my biggest time saver is simply not having kids. I know that’s not really a “time hack” others can follow, but I chose not to have kids so that I could do other things.
My response to kids and lifestyle is #6. Specifically “Find a way around them. ” Although many of these hacks are time related, the overall theme is simplifying, which is something that can be done whether you have kids or not, married or not, full time job or not. If it was strictly time (or money) related of why I’m able to achieve goals and regularly ride and run, I would have actually managed to train for and finish an ultramarathon when I was single and just working a one job :).
Ugh – my other comment got eaten…..I too follow the less is more when it comes to washing/showers. Not necessarily a time thing since I’m a hop in and out sorta gal, but unless I’m really sweaty and dirty (ie post run or ride) I don’t bother. I don’t like the feeling was water on my skin truthfully, and I don’t think out skin was designed to be scrubbed with soap and hot water every day.
If I don’t have access to a shower post run or ride because of where j am and it’s critical I smell and look good I’ll clean up with towels etc. never turn down an adventure (or ride or run….) just because of the lack of shower access is my feeling!!!!!
Yeah, I don’t shower/wash my hair all that often because I’ve found I’m healthier the less I do that. It’s not actually a time saving hack. I used to have to wash 2x a day with special shampoo to deal with a condition similar but technically different than dandruff. Then I just stopped washing my hair and my condition literally went away. As confirmed by my dermatologist. My skin is also happier if I wash it less. Conveniently it also saves time.
On days when I “might ride” (or might not) I put on breeches. Then, the decision is mostlkky made!
THIS. So much yes. I was keeping track of the #s that resounded most strongly with me, but that ended up being nearly all of them. I keep some spare stuff in my car at all times, but could stand to add a couple more simple things to make the “impulse clothing” more workable. I currently have biking and riding stuff in my car…and some climbing things. Yes, this means I have THREE different helmets in my car haha. I should do a post all about the various helmets I wear for my activities because there are SIX unique helmets in my active life!
Your note on making complicated routines more simple is something I 110% stand by. I try as much as possible to make my routine quick and easy. I’m not going to give my horse some insane grooming routine all of the time or take the time to nit pick and analyze every tiny thing. I just want to do the bare minimum to get out there and have a fun (and safe!) time.
It’s funny because after I wrote this post I went out to see my ponies and started noticing all the other little stuff I’ve done to make it simple to get and ride and grooming is a specific thing I thought of! I feel absolutely no guilt about merely knocking the dust off the tack areas and RIDING. I only do a more thorough grooming on the days I want to, have the time and energy, and usually I’m looking for a way that day to spend time with the horse that isn’t riding. Saves me a ton of time and even if you think “come on Mel, it’s only ten or fifteen min to do a better grooming!” The point is that it’s one more “thing” or obstacle between me and riding, and most of the time it isn’t time, it’s the number of things that need to get done before I can ride.
Other things I thought about:
– owning mostly synthetic tack instead of leather means I clean tack 1-2x a year (maybe) and it usually involves a dishwasher (when the husband isn’t home).
– my willingness to throw tradition out the window if it means efficiency. I roached my Arabs mane because I was tired of it tangling and it was making me feel guilty. I bought a dremmel and an angle grinder to trim when I realized it cut my trimming time IN HALF and made the task so much physically easier I actually maintained feet more regularly. I’ll replace a buckle with a snap or clip if I can do so safely on my tack. When it comes to horse management I try see if they can self maintain first – can I free feed a supplement bucket instead of daily supplement packets (got away with doing nothing for a while, but MerryLegs growth requirements really did warrant something beyond hay)? Can feed free choice hay a bale at a time? (Yes if riding 50s and 100s regularly – i.e. A ride every 4-8 weeks. No if horses are just chilling out in pasture). Can I use a fly blanket instead of applying fly spray?
You should totally do a helmet post!!! I’d especially be curious to learn about the differences and how they feel or fit differently – like I think it’s really interesting to look at the differences between equestrian and bike helmets because of the location of probable impact.
Great tips, I feel we are on the same page, running and riding are also my two loves although I don’t think I’m as organised as you! Might have to implement some of the above.