This post is all about perspective. Will Faudree just posted a radiograph of his neck with the screws and plates in it on Facebook. Kim Meier then replied that she wished she had it that good. My complaint feels so small, and yet so large at the same time. My ankle is healing and will soon be back to normal, but at the same time, getting injured is a little bit like having a freeze ray arrest you mid-leap. You have a very singular moment in your life to take stock, and make clear distinctions between the two halves of being healthy.
At some point or another, if you play this game long enough, you have a 100% chance of getting hurt by a horse. But don’t start crying yet. You also have a 100% chance of being exhilarated by galloping a horse as fast as you dare, of soaring over the biggest oxer and feeling the punch of a really good bascule in your chest, of a half pass that felt like you glided across the diagonal with no effort at all. You also have a 100% chance of feeling that you have never been happier as you are when you are with your best horse friend. These are all risks that we take when we get on a horse every day.
Right now, I’m not feeling any of joys or euphorias because I am guarded and defensive about my ankle. I protect my ankle even when I am posting the trot. Wondering if I am going to roll it in the stirrup and cause greater damage. I feel myself oddly tight when I go for a hack and my dog, Moxee, darts past and I hope my horse won’t spook and spin. The result is that I am riding for the sake of getting my horses a little tired and hopefully preventing total boredom for them, but I’m not riding for me and for my happiness.
But, then I laugh a little about what a tough bunch we eventers are. My physical therapist asked me if this was the worst injury I have had. I said a heartfelt “Yes, Gott Sei Dank!” And then a while later had to amend my answer when I remembered all the broken ribs that I have had at numerous times in my life from falls. He looked at me like I was a little green alien, couldn’t believe that I discounted broken ribs.
But, I think that is what reassures me, knowing that my long list of life experiences is so heavily stacked on the euphoric/good side of the scale that broken bones are foggy memories. There is an art to looking at an injury with a positive spin and I’m no expert there, and perhaps am failing miserably at doing so at this very moment. But, I know it changes the way you look at life when you have to press the pause button.