I've always been fortunate to be healthy and strong. I rode an average of 5 - 6 days a week, mostly alone, for at least 2 -3 hours each ride. Nothing fazed me, or stopped me.
Until two years ago, when I was told I had cancer. After surgery, faced chemo for 5 months. Felt out of control with my body, due to all the drugs and finally understood what it was to be mortal. On good days I could almost do what I was used to doing, the other days , just feeding the horses wiped me out. Got through treatments and expected to return to my normal self. How naive I was.
It took a full year and a half to finally recover from the chemo. Was in constant pain in the joints, legs and hips. Felt they would shatter at any moment, or let go and I'd fall. Where I once was able to run on my treadmill , I could barely walk on it. Another year of not riding to speak of.
Through it all, my horses are what I clung to, reminding me of the life I had before. The life I wanted again, but this time would appreciate and not take for granted. Feeding, cleaning , grooming , spending time with them got me through those frustrating and yes, frightening times. I put on a brave face for my family and friends, but with my horses I could cry and voice my fears. I thought that this was to be my life now, and I didn't want it.....not like that. It took me down to my core, and I understood why some opt out when there is no relief in sight. Scared the hell out of me.
I am so grateful that I've come out the other end of that dark tunnel. I'm in the light again, but with a new outlook. I am getting stronger and thank god, almost pain free. I will ride this wave as long as I can. For you see it's not a matter of if it will come back, but when. I will live in the moment and as they say, smell the roses!
My horses helped me , forced me , to look beyond myself and where I was. Their needs forced me to figure out new ways to meet the demands. Without them, it might have been too easy for me to wallow in where I was, and not try to keep participating, though differently, in life.
Sorry this was so long.
Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, "Oh crap, she's up!".