The Cheerleaders inside of my head...and the wildest horseback ride ever!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I was in the pool this morning, doing my regular lapswim when I heard a voice, "Rock on Katrina! You go girl! You are strong...healthy...keep it up". Uh oh... where was the voice that usually coaches/chides me? The one that berates me for oozing out of my swimsuit? The one that says, "Look at your thighs! Yuck! Crater Lake!". Where did this new voice come from?Was it due to the fact that I had just spent a week at 7,000 feet above sea level and I was now back down to elevation 100 and was hyper-oxygenated? Was it the voice of Angels? Whatever it was, it felt like I had the entire Dallas Cowboy Cheerleading squad right there at the edge of the pool cheering me on. And I wanted to get out and join them. Yes Siree, I'll be your wingman ( sans the tacky little outfit).Sign me up. Rah! Rah! Rah!
And I heard a similar voice this week when I was on the wildest horseback ride of my life. I was in Colorado and it had dumped on us all week. (Think 300+ inches of snow to date). The trails were drifted in and invisible. Now I am not all that comfortable on a horse any more. I rode a lot as a kid doing cattle drives, pack trips, winter feeding and riding in the back country. That pretty much ended when I left home for college some 30+ years ago. This was insane, push-it-to-the-limits type of riding. The X-Games of the equine world. The horses plunged through the snow and slipped off the trail. They became quagmired and were unable to move, buried up to their necks in snow. They panicked. They felt like they were drowning with nothing solid beneath them. They bucked and twisted. You had to hold on and let them go. People were tossed off right and left. Eventually the horses were able to get their footing. But it was a tense, body-throttling, adrenalin-pumping, prayer-giving, crazy few minutes. And it happened over and over again. We could only move forward. There was no way to turn around. Fortunately none of the horses pulled a muscle nor a tendon nor were hurt in any way. The people ofcourse were rattled and bruised with a few black eyes and cuts. Some were swearing. But I heard the voice again. Only this time it wasn't the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. It was a calm voice. You are ok. Connect with your horse. You can do this. Your horse is fine. Let him know what a good job he is doing and how much you appreciate him. And I did. I stroked his neck. I constantly repositioned myself in the saddle to make it easier. And what could have been an absolute nightmare, ended up being a positive, team-building, wonderful, reconnecting, reaffirming challenge. The voice of our ancestors cursing through our blood. Amen! You can do this. Whatever the challenge. Go on. Push yourself. You have it in you. Find out what you are made of. So pansy little suburban housewife found her wild woman for the day. emoticon
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