FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out

After a pregnancy filled with morning, evening and all the live long day sickness and recovery from a c-section, I finally got myself back in the saddle. Having ridden since I was in single numbers, I never thought I’d find myself anxious about getting back in the saddle yet this time, after having my second daughter, that’s exactly where I found little old me. I felt nervous, out of sorts and a little overwhelmed. My brain was fogged with questions like, “can I actually ride?” and worse still, the typical mum-guilt question, “should I be doing this when I could be at home with the kids?” Despite having some run-ins with my own self-esteem over the years, I’ve always been fairly confident and proud of the person I am. I’m a working mum and proud of it but was starting my riding lessons again too much? After a firm talking to by my husband, reaffirming my once solid thoughts that I deserved to enjoy myself, I was back to fixating on just the one worry…could I still ride?

The age-old adage of, “it’s like a riding a bike” gets thrown around so much these days but unless you spend your life jumping back on a bike after years away from it, you never really know what it means or at least I never did until I had over a year away from the saddle. I carried on riding throughout my pregnancy with my first daughter, much to the horror of both my parents and my in-laws but this time around, the morning sickness just became too much and the thought of sitting high up on a horse, moving with his step just brought on more feelings of nausea. This time around with a toddler screaming in my ear and another screaming as it pummelled my bladder, I just succumbed to the easier option and hung up my already too-tight breeches until after the baby was born.

My husband rides so I spent a lot of my pregnancy watching him enjoy lessons, looking on with pride as I do with every lesson he has, only this time it came with a tinge of jealousy. I wanted to be up there so bad. That’s probably why I found myself so surprised when I looked on at Blaze, a 17.3 Dressage schoolmaster, who I’d ridden a million times before, with fear and angst now that pregnancy was behind me and I was ready to jump back up there.

As with any situation that makes me feel uncomfortable, I always turn to humour. From awkward conversations to serious discussions, the jokes begin to fly and that’s exactly what began here. People laughed at my sarcastic tone and my self-depreciating quips but inside I was petrified. I could have walked away. I could have said I wasn’t ready but something kept me there, something called FOMO. The last nine months, I’d missed it so much that surely a few niggling feelings of quite literally, “getting back on the horse” shouldn’t stop me?

Thankfully for me, it didn’t. With an incredibly talented instructor as well as the never-ending support from my husband, I put my brave pants on and jumped on board and you know what, it was just like riding a bike.

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