Thursday, 11 June 2020

New Release Spotlight & Author Guest Post: Seven and a Half Minutes by Roxana Valea

Get back in the saddle!

How many times have we heard this advice? When you take a fall, you need to get back in the saddle! And no, it’s not just from horse people, everybody out there seems to think that getting back in the saddle is the right thing to do after a setback.

Have you lost your job? Look for another one! Are you going through a divorce? Get back into the dating scene! Failed an exam? Study harder and try again! These statements are so imprinted into our psyche that we very seldom stop to ask ourselves: “Which saddle am I actually trying to get back in? Is this saddle the right saddle for me? What exactly does this setback tell me?”

I’ve been there. Literally. I played polo and took a number of nasty falls. One of these resulted in both arms broken. I had surgeries. I spent six weeks with no use of my arms, like a Barbie doll, being dressed, fed and bathed by a nanny. I healed and got back in the saddle. I played polo once again. Then it happened again. Another fall and another broken bone. My arm frozen for six weeks. It healed and luckily I didn’t need surgery that time. I recovered. I trained again. I played again. I got back in the saddle. And then it happened one more time. Because when we don’t stop to listen to the messages that show up for us, the Universe starts shouting. I fell again and broke my collarbone. I went through a complicated surgery and then through another one, one year later. And this long pause forced me to stop and finally ask myself one key question: Which saddle am I trying to get back in and why?

There’s nothing wrong with getting up and trying again. Great sports people are made that way. There’s nothing wrong with the will to exceed your limitations. But every now and then it’s wise to stop and think. Ask yourself: Why is this happening to me and what is the Universe trying to tell me? Because, you see, the Universe always talks to us. Sometimes in a whisper, sometimes louder. And other times, when we don’t get it, it starts screaming.

There was nothing wrong with my riding. My trainers told me so. There was nothing unusual with falling from a horse either. Many polo players do so. They fall, they get up and play again. They don’t break bones. Not that often anyway. And there was nothing wrong with my bones and no reason why they should break that often, my doctors told me. And yet, after three falls resulting in five broken bones and four surgeries, I came to a conclusion: I was keeping on falling from that saddle because it wasn’t the right saddle for me.

And so I decided to take a break. A break from polo and from getting back in the saddle. What else could I do with my life if I didn’t play polo? I didn’t have an answer at first because polo had been occupying so much time and resources and had done so for a number of years. My life outside polo was not much of a life. Only work, from time to time, because I was a freelancer. No love, no other hobbies, only a few friends scattered around the world. Void. But still, I kept on asking the question: What else could I do with my life if I didn’t attempt again and again to get back in the same saddle?

And then life opened up. Because sometimes it’s enough to ask the question. In only two years of not playing polo, my life had changed beyond recognition. Not only did I meet a wonderful man and fall in love, but I got married to him as well. I moved to another country, bought and refurbished a beautiful house and settled there. I wrote four books. I studied healing arts and qualified as a Reiki Master and Shamanic Energy Medicine practitioner. I travelled to amazing destinations to India, Thailand and all over Europe. I managed to fully heal my body after two difficult surgeries and regained full range of movement of my arms again. I changed my career from a management consultant to a writer and healer.

And all this because I paused and asked one question: “Which saddle am I trying to get back in and is this the right saddle for me?”

And if you want to know more about how a polo girl got back in the saddle, read “The Polo Diaries” series!

Seven and a Half Minutes. The Polo Diaries Book 3
Before Roxy found herself “Single in Buenos Aires,” she was a single girl in London in search of true love. The third installment of The Polo Diaries series takes us back to that time, and we follow Roxy as she hires a love coach to help her navigate the dating scene. But the love coach comes up with an unexpected assignment: reconnect to a long-forgotten passion. For Roxy this means horses. Within weeks, she finds herself playing polo, thanks to a series of unforeseen events.
Torn between her desire to become the best polo player she can be and the dream of falling in love, Roxy steps fully into the exciting and demanding world of polo, where injury and recovery mix with hard training, and where celebrating the victory of a tournament comes at a high price. Will Roxy eventually become the polo player she dreams to be? And with polo being such a demanding sport, can there be any space left for love?

Amazon UK           Amazon US  

Roxana Valea was born in Romania and lived in Italy, Switzerland, England and Argentina before settling in Spain. She has a BA in journalism and an MBA degree. She spent more than twenty years in the business world as an entrepreneur, manager and management consultant working for top companies like Apple, eBay, and Sony. She is also a Reiki Master and shamanic energy medicine practitioner.

As an author, Roxana writes books inspired by real events. Her memoir Through Dust and Dreams is a faithful account of a trip she took at the age of twenty-eight across Africa by car in the company of two strangers she met over the internet. Her following book, Personal Power: Mindfulness Techniques for the Corporate Word is a nonfiction book filled with personal anecdotes from her consulting years. The Polo Diaries series is inspired by her experiences as a female polo player--traveling to Argentina, falling in love, and surviving the highs and lows of this dangerous sport.

Roxana lives with her husband between England and Spain, and splits her time between writing, coaching and therapy work, but her first passion remains writing.