May 6, 2021
“My visualization was imagining myself and my horse in a protective white light, and that we were protected over the jumps, the whole course. The next competition, I remember thinking, ‘I don't know if this is going to work, but we'll give it a try.’ We went in and that fear started to come up, I could feel it. I just closed my eyes for a minute and envisioned this white light and rode really well.”
For years, Hannah Selleck—like most athletes—believed the key to success was pushing her body to the max. But in 2018, the professional equestrian show jumper fell, got her foot caught in a magnetic stirrup, and sustained severe fractures to her tibia and fibula.
Recovery from that setback taught her that sometimes, patience and rest pay off more than strain and effort. New treatment and performance techniques helped her cope with the unexpected emotional impact of her fall. And a friend and fellow rider kept her horses in competition when she couldn’t, which gave her a taste of the owner role—something she realized could also be fulfilling for her later on.
Now, she’s fine-tuned the parts of her mental training that complement the physical, including visualization and restorative yoga. She works them into her routine regularly, recognizing they’re just as critical to success as her time in the ring or the gym. All this has made her not only a stronger, better athlete, but also a more self-aware, kind, and balanced person, she says.
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