September 15th marks 2 months to the day since I broke my pelvis (x2) when the horse I was riding reared over and landed on me. When I was in the hospital (and in the weeks that followed) the query I was met with most is, “Are you ever going to ride again?”
There is a saying among riders, that you aren’t a real rider until you’ve fallen off, and there is an expectation that you will get back on as long as you are able. Well, it was immediately apparent to me back in July that I would NOT be getting back on anytime soon… but one of the first things I thought of (right after OMFG OWW!) was that the day would come when I was back on, and next time I wouldn’t be bested.
The reason young riders are taught that falling off makes you a real rider is because everyone falls.
The reason they’re told that you always get back on is because you must not let the fear of falling stop you from learning to fly.
Fear of falling- of failure, will cripple you just as effectively as a horse landing on you. You must not let your fear stop you from trying. Bad things will always happen, but whats much worse is to stop living your life in the way you see fit for fear of the consequences.
So take the leap and enjoy the fall, for all we have to live for is the moment. Make as many plans as you like, but if you forget to live for today your plans mean nothing in the end. More people need to take time to disconnect from their virtual world and live in the moment- I get so caught up blogging and facebooking, tweeting and texting and pinning that I forget that the world outside my door is so much more amazing than having the entire world at my fingertips.
September 14, 2012 was the first time I rode since my accident. When I got on my horse I cried (possibly just cause I’m female and insanely hormonal right now) but my tears were not of fear but of joy. There is no where on this earth I feel more complete than on my horse and losing that for the last 2 months was incredibly hard. Falling was hard, staying down was harder, so I got up.
I rode my beautiful Misty (pictured above) she’s the first horse I fell off of, the horse I learned how to ride on, and it seemed right that it would be her I rode for the first time since I sustained the worst injury of my riding career. She’s also 23 this year, meaning I don’t have much time left on her back and making this ride all the more special. I feel like we have a connection that you can’t put into words, but you can see it and you can feel it and without that I felt empty. Today after work I think I’ll ride my lovely Lina (below) and someday soon, I’ll be back on Soda (the horse that pancaked me) and I will not be afraid.
What I love most about riding is that I feel free. Its just me, my horse and the ground underfoot. I can fly on her back, and I can fall and I am thankful that I’ve always been able to get back up. Fear of the fall that’s bound to come will not stop me from loving the flight. When the day comes that I fall and can no longer rise and least I’ll know that all my days prior were not wasted. Accept your mortality, that your life is finite and live in a way that makes you feel free and happy. Be present in the moment, with your friends, your family, your animals – put away your phone and connect with something real. Ask yourself- are you happy with your life? If the answer is no then today is the day to change that, not tomorrow, not the next day, now.
You are responsible for your own happiness, so make the jump and fear not falling, you can fly! But first you have to make the leap!