Traci Donatelli: Finding My Balance

Having passion for a lot of different things in life is great. The hard part is finding time to enjoy them all! I’ve been struggling with that a lot lately. In addition to my job at Prac, I do work for an equestrian land conservation group, recently ran my first half-marathon and am training for a full marathon in October. Running long distances can be a big time and energy suck, and I’ve noticed that while my legs are getting stronger, my horse is getting rounder and rounder lazing in his pasture because I don’t have the time or energy to ride as much as I’d like. I decided something had to give and it would have to be sleep. So, this morning, at 6am, I grabbed my helmet, bridle and some apples and headed into what was already shaping up to be a gorgeous spring morning. The sunlight cast a beautiful glow on the horses’ coats, and the birds were softly chirping. I hopped on my somewhat surprised horse, Vinny, bareback and walked up past some fragrant lilac bushes to the arena. As we walked, trotted and cantered around in varying patterns, I listened to the quiet rhythm of his hooves and slowly realized what a wonderful time of day this was to ride. No one was around, and I didn’t have the stress of the day hanging over me like I do so often in the afternoons. And being somewhat sleepy and relaxed, my body fell more naturally into the movement of my horse. I didn’t think so much about my position as I felt my way into it. Afterward, I scratched Vinny’s itchy ears and scraped at those last few patches of winter fur that insist it’s not time to let go yet. He nuzzled me and let out a contented sigh. As I walked back to get showered for work, I felt invigorated and peaceful at the same time. I wouldn’t trade that feeling for even five extra hours of sleep!

?Traci Donatelli
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