Amberley Snyder: Handling the Pandemic - Horse&Rider

Inspired Rider: How Are You Handling It?

We’re all in the storm, just in different boats.
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This is the most accurate statement I’ve heard to characterize this odd time we’re experiencing. There’s so much sadness, hate, and uncertainty influencing our society right now. Things we could always count on have shifted, and our loved ones are even supposed to stay at a distance. All this change is hard.

So what are you doing with it? How are you handling being home?

[MORE WITH AMBERLEY: OVERCOME CHALLENGES]

I’ve asked those questions of myself multiple times over this period. I first came back home to Elk Ridge, Utah, in March, returning early from Arizona as I wasn’t sure how serious the quarantine was going to be. I started by enjoying the time at home, as I’d been gone for three-and-a-half months and I don’t usually have so many days in which to catch up.

Home improvement was first. I’ve owned a small piece of property for two years and am working to build and improve upon it—barns, arenas, roads, and so on. I became my own general contractor, not a job title I’d been planning to add to my resume. Learning to coordinate plans, schedules, and people has been a process in itself.

Amberley Snyder sitting on her horse.

Where you’ll be when the coronavirus passes will depend on the choices you’re making today.

Cleaning was big for me, too. I deep-cleaned almost my whole house down to scrubbing baseboards and shampooing carpets.

Then my attention shifted to my health. I realized I haven’t focused on my personal health in a long time as it’s been the last on my priority list. Speaking, rodeoing, and progress in my career have been in the driver’s seat for almost 10 years.

So my next stage of quarantine was personal health. I started standing in my standing frame for several hours a day. I also began a CrossFit program, hard but rewarding. I’ve seen my physical well-being improve with this time and focus. This shift has been a lifesaver for me, mentally as well as physically. I’ve always been a goal setter and a busy human being, so having somewhere to shift my energy keeps me going.

But after that, then what...when the weeks became a month, then two, then three? As someone who spends the majority of her time on the road, I found this time at home increasingly worrying. Having speaking engagements canceled and postponed begins to wear on your mind. The same with rodeos. I know I’m supposed to be a beacon of light for many others, but this was getting hard.

Then, too, on a bigger scale, our world was becoming more worrying. Sickness spreading through our towns and states, across the country. Panic causing selfishness with worldly items of toilet paper, Lysol wipes, and flour! People disagreeing over misunderstandings, or taking sides in a way that causes hate and grief. Neighbors, friends, and even family turning on one another.

Why do I share all this? Because I’m human. I’m a woman, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a working member of society, a citizen, a victim, a leader, a paraplegic, a speaker, a cowgirl, an American. I understand frustration, pain, and loss. I feel for those who struggle. I relate to someone who’s upset or hurt or lonely. We all do.

There’s so much going on in the world right now that we can’t control. Sometimes it feels like us against the world. But we need to take a step back, because we’re all in the same storm. We’re all trying to survive. We’re just in different boats.

[MORE WITH AMBERLEY: FIVE BARREL FOR SUCCESS]

Readers, I challenge you to change the perspective with me. Let’s begin by looking at our circumstance as something that’s happening for us rather than to us. Let’s encourage those around us to continue to chase their goals. Let’s find the moment of happiness in every day, even when times are bleak. Let’s enjoy birds chirping and flowers blooming.

Let’s set personal goals in areas we can control. Let’s find new skills we didn’t know we had. Let’s spread love over hate. Let’s show empathy and kindness to those who’re also hurting. Let’s continue to move forward.

I’ve always told myself: Either be ripe and rotting or green and growing. Now is the time to see which you will be. I’m not saying you can’t have bad days; we all do. But that too shall pass. And where you’ll be when it does will depend on the choices you make today. 

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