Tuesday, February 14, 2012

That Breaking Point Should Be Here, Somewhere...

Well, I managed to get through my conversation with DW today without dissolving into a hopeless, quivering mass of self-doubt.  I actually didn't even bring it up.  I had a hard enough time explaining that my back (and consequently my hip) act up sometimes and that is just the way it is.  He definitely has a tendency to hone in on whatever the problem is, and insist we hash it out until there is a viable plan for eliminating it.  I know what the problem is... I haven't been to the chiropractor in forever, it's been slightly longer than that since I had a massage, and I deleted strength training from my program a year and a half ago, though I have sworn daily I would put it back in... tomorrow.  I hate being reminded that my current pain is the logical outcome of my endless slacking.  It was exacerbated by the cold snap but had I been doing my job, it wouldn't have been nearly this bad.

Fortunately, by the time I spoke to him, I had already managed to get in to see a chiropractor and had scheduled some time with my old roommate JS to put together a resistance routine.  I wish I could say that the pain in my foot was getting better but to be honest it may be slightly worse.  There is no way around the fact that standing on a ladder all night for work keeps the achilles and the plantar inflamed.  It hasn't gotten out of control but having already been down that road, I am not happy with the low grade constant pain that I am feeling.  There is the possibility that if I get my back/hip issue resolved it will lessen pressure on that foot.  Right now I have the feeling like I am one bad step or movement away from another injury.  I don't feel solid or stable at the moment.

I am heading into a brutally busy week at work and I am worried about my body.  There are things, at the top of that list is the severe repetitive stress injury to my hand that plagues me through every mane I braid. It has been really painful this season and I have not had to face a week anywhere near this busy.  I am worried.

Tail with fake tail added

Some of you may not fully understand what it is that I do for work.  Hunters at the big A and AA rated shows are turned out with their manes and tails braided.  The work is fairly difficult and the standards at this level are very high so it is common practice to hire professionals to take care if it.  I am one of those professionals.  I follow the horse show circuit, work at night, and go stall to stall, standing on a ladder and twisting hair.
I made a unicorn!
It's a living.  I do between 30-45 horses per week.  I don't do anything other than the mane, tail, and forelock (which I do NOT leave standing straight up!)  Everything else is someone else's job.  You can probably see why an injury to my hand is such a serious issue, yet when do I get upset about it?  When it messes up my catch in the pool or screws up my shifting.  We are funny creatures, aren't we?


  1. Holy cow, those are some awesome braids! And to think that I can barely braid my 6 year old's hair in a way that wouldn't embarass her. Hope that hand is feeling better soon!

  2. It takes a certain personality type (read:obsessive-compulsive-completely nuts) to do this job. Night after night, week after week, doing the same task and being as committed to perfection as I was the first day I learned requires someone that is just short of a Stephen King character.

    The hand has been toast for 2.5 years so I am not terribly hopeful on that front. I have resort to figuring out what my next career will be. That's okay though. I have worked my way to the top of this field and am ready for a new challenge.

    Thanks for the compliment and don't' feel bad, I couldn't braid a child's hair either. Those soft, fine strands would absolutely elude me!!