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The Wobbleberries – Introducing Vicky, our first blogger.

Jan 2017 – A New Year, a Brave New Me!!

So it seems that my wobbly days are about to come to an end. I’ve been asked to post a blog about my journey through the eventing year which will culminate, hopefully, in me completing my first ever BE competition as a Wobbleberry for Hannah Francis’ Willberry Wonder Pony charity. Over 1200 wimpy riders from all over the globe are set to raise over £250,000 for the charity which Hannah founded to fund research into bone cancer, whilst suffering from the disease herself. We are overcoming fears, fat and lack of fitness whilst pledging to raise as much money as we can.

The folks at e-Venting want before and during blogs and photos of said journey which will involve me baring all – not literally you’ll be glad to hear – so that you can see my progression throughout the year. That means a strict diet and exercise regime and, it turns out, me finding a horse to do it on as mine is now 20 and has developed COPD. I think she may be putting it on to avoid the challenge but I’m not going to risk it, so she can remain a field ornament and do what she’s best at – eating!  So it’s “do it Vicky or be shamed in front of the whole nation”- not an option!!!

So why have I subjected myself to this terrifying ordeal?

I followed Hannah’s journey, as I’m sure we all did, and I was amazed that this young woman had such a will to leave a legacy which would help others after she was gone. Her passion for her sport was evident to see and she touched us all by her reluctance to let it go right up until the end of her life. We’ve all been affected by cancer in some way and to be able to raise funds in the battle to beat it made huge sense to me. I’m proud to do it in her name and to try my best to complete an event in the sport which she adored.

Right – so about me!

I’m now coming up to my fiftieth birthday and it’s fair to say I’ve totally let myself go. At 5ft (have once been measured at that height so that’s what I am!) I resemble a beach ball on legs and I feel very seriously that any form of exercise may well result in serious injury, partly due to my once pert 34c boobs having blossomed to a rather matronly size! That said, I’m a nurse practitioner and really ought to know better and practice what I preach, so I’m ready to put myself under public scrutiny by sharing monthly updates of my own personal challenge.

To this end I have recruited Phil. He’s a very nice man who works at my local gym and who I actually PAY to give me personal training sessions twice a week. I HATE exercise and he’s made it his mission to sculpt my body into an acceptable shape whilst making me as miserable as possible. He smiles nicely whilst doing it which I suppose is kind of him but I just know he’s enjoying every single one of the 60 minutes! I’m sure he’s a sadist…

I’m an eventing mother and my eldest daughter is moving up to 3* this season so I’m usually to be found behind the lorry wheel, under the horse studding up or at the end of my tether when said daughter has forgotten the “can’t do without” piece of tack at competitions! My youngest daughter show-jumps too so I watch them both with awe and envy at their fearlessness. How will I ever be able to remember a dressage test given the fact that I’m sure my age has made me more forgetful, let alone doing a show-jumping or cross country round? I’m looking forward to subjecting my eldest to MY pre-competition nerves for a change. However, I’m grateful that I have my own personal groom and trainer rolled into one. I know she’ll encourage me as she’s so aware that I’m absolutely terrified of jumping at the moment even though 80cm must look like a trotting pole to her!

So that’s an introduction to me. The introduction to my horse will have to wait until a suitable one is found. For some reason neither daughter will let me borrow theirs – I can’t think why – so I’m concentrating on becoming an acceptable weight for the poor steed who picks me!

Next post in one month with news on my battle of the bulge, my hunt for a horse and my training so far. Watch this space and prepare to gasp with amazement or laugh heartily at my progress towards my ultimate goal… THE BE80T!

Vicky Chiverton


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