Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Reaching those goals...

When I was younger, I was a bit of an Equestrian. I've always love horses, but been terrified of them at the same time. I suppose that's the reason my trusty twenty year old school horse and I never made it to the Olympics.

When I was nineteen, my mother made a gargantuan mistake. The mother of all mistakes. The only mistake you could ever really make that will crush a rider: She threw out my riding boots.

Now, these boots were second hand. They were a trade-off for a couple afternoons of babysitting for a family friend. However, I have odd legs. I have big legs. In the past my legs have been referred to as stove-pipe legs, and even Ham Legs. They were the kind of boots that went around the entire circumference of my legs without causing me to bleed or lose circulation.

After the boots were gone, I threw the mother of all temper tantrums. They couldn't be replaced, really, because they had years of wear in them and were at the point where they were comfy and nice to slip into.

So, my mother, under siege from the guilt of my massive tantrum, took me to buy new boots. They are fat legged boots. (Read: they have a zipper down the back No rider worth her salt would be seen in public with zippered boots.) I wore them dutifully, went riding three times with an individual I was dating at the time, and promptly left them in the closet while I got ready for university.

Fast forward to my first semester of school, and I find out that we have an Equestrian team. Before even looking into the fact that joining the team would cost hundreds of dollars, I decided to put my boots on and just feel like a rider again.

But they wouldn't go on. No amount of pulling, heaving, swearing, praying, or crying could wedge my chubby legs into these boots. Last year I put my Dad on the project and told him that come Hell or high water (And perhaps a combination of both) he was getting the boots around my legs.

First he tried using boot pulls to wedge me into them, but that just wouldn't work. We tried every trick in the book, and because riding boots are notoriously hard to put on, we are aware of quite a few tricks for putting on boots.

Eventually we gave up and tried using the zippers. My dad tried. He squeezed, he pushed, he pinched, and millimetre by millimetre, the zipper went up about four inches.

At this point my calves were looking somewhat battered and bruised and he assured me that it was not a case of needing to stretch the leather: It was a case of my legs simply being too fat for boots designed especially for people with fat legs.

I've recently dropped a few of my newly acquired pounds. It's been part effort, and part accident in result of my rough fall, but either way, I have taken notice of the fact that my clothes have been more comfortable, my pants are easier to do up, and my shirts are clinging less to my back fat. I've been avoiding the scales because the last time I was on one, I just didn't want to know.

The other day, SuperNan and I were in her bedroom, looking for some long-lost object that we never did find. However, I did happen to glance in the corner and see my new boots, hardly worn and covered in dust. I saw them and I thought, it's really not worth making myself cry over these boots again. I promised myself for the last time that I am going to sell them on eBay and never give another thought to cramming my legs into riding boots again in this lifetime.

And then I promptly ran to the corner, ripped up the leg of my jogging pants, and prepared to haul on those boots like those boots have never been hauled on before.

And then, after my legs slipped ever so gracefully back into the sharp leather boots, and I recalled exactly how painful it is to break in the sharp leather of new boots; after I stared in amazement and made sure I wasn't trying on my Dad's boots by accident; after I ran squealing and screaming down the stairs and danced around my dad; long after the cats scattered and the dogs were cowering in their kennels because I sounded much like a cross between a wounded mule and a gleeful hyena.....

I made my mom take photographic evidence of the occasion:


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