A Defining Turn

Each of us have moments that define our lives.

Each of us make decisions every day that impact our lives for better or for worse.

In my last post, I introduced my topic for the entry I posted previously and those I intend to post in the future.

Defining Moments.

They don’t have to be big. They can be as small as waking up at 8:00 a.m. or 8:15 a.m. They don’t even have to be decisions we directly make. Sometimes, the defining moments come from the way we respond to a decision someone (or something) else makes for us.

This brings me to the topic of this post.

Now, usually, I would tell you a story about someone else and how their decisions defined their lives. But since I’m still getting the ball rolling, I decided to tell a story that happened to me so that we can continue to get to know each other.

So, like I said before, sometimes the moments that define us are brought about by another situation; an action that causes a reaction.

In my case, the action was brought about by a horse. A 1,200 pound tank of a horse. This horse came with the name Julio and was a powerhouse compared to me who was, at the time, a 14-year-old girl who paled in comparison to his height and weight.

Nevertheless, we were a team. He was my baby. Our favorite thing to do on the weekends during the summer was to barrel race. Sixteen fast-paced, adrenaline filled seconds that were as addicting as vanilla Diet Coke. 😉

On May 29, 2012, my perception of a fun, lighthearted activity would be changed forever.

As I, the first rider of the night, rode into the arena, Julio began to get excited. He knew what was coming and if that horse loved anything, it was to run.

After he calmed down a bit, I took a deep breath and turned my beast to start my pattern.

We had a little trouble around the first barrel and because of that hiccup, I was not paying as close attention as I should have been – a reaction that would be defining seconds later.

In between the first and second barrel, Julio decided to turn on a dime, sending me – his rider – plummeting to the ground, but not without getting in the way of his monstrous hooves.

My family and friends rushed into the arena, called an ambulance, and began reacting to Julio’s actions and my lack thereof.

I ended up being taken by LifeFlight to Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa, where they would later discover I suffered only from a sprained ankle and a massive concussion.

Moments of impact.

I had little reaction time during the accident, but it was not the choices I made while making my descent off my horse that would define the way I lived my life from there on.

I had many decisions to make. Was I going to get up and walk around the hospital so that I could go home? Was I going to take my medication?

Was I going to get back onto the beast who hurt me?

Long-story-short, I ended up getting back on Julio a short week and a half later. I was not going to let his mistake keep me from the sport I loved.

And it didn’t! Because I got back on a week and a half later, I kept learning. I kept improving in my riding technique. And now, almost six years later, I’ve been known to drop the reigns and let my horse take charge as I shoot at my target.

These moments of impact are the ones that define our lives.

The decision of whether to stay down or to get back on the horse are ones that can change your life forever.

So what will you choose? Stay on the ground? Or get back on the horse?

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