“Do not do it! That’s not a good idea!” There’s that slight voice inside my head again, telling me to stop and think before I act. Unfortunately, the words got twisted, and what I really heard was, “Yeah! That’s a great idea!” The confusion in my mind led to an unforgettable family vacation.
The final decision was made to go horseback riding. When I reviewed all my strengths and skills, horseback riding was not on that list. The idea of riding a big, moody beast at lightning speed wasn’t my idea of adventure. Even though I’d never ridden one before, my brain again suggested, “Just do it!”
I was suffering from FOMO (fear of missing out)! The fear of being left behind on this adventure overran the voice in my head.
I was still confused about what it really meant. I asked the horse operator, who was working alone that day, with the other six members of my family, to please give me the youngest horse she owned. How about a young donkey, a pony, or a pony?
To my dismay, none were available. As they attempt to board the horse, in the distance, a group of irreverent young teens speed up their four-wheeled carts, only to scare the horses away.
I, as the only one not yet burdened, ended up in the midst of terrifying horses controlled by an immersive therapist.
Trying to distance myself from what I thought was a stampede, I hit my head on the hind end of one of the horses, and all I remember is flying over everyone and landing on my back. You took the wind out of me.
You can rest assured that I survived this ordeal because I am here to share my experience. But I didn’t get out of this unscathed.
Excuse me, my fear, the respect for horses grew a lot after that “adventure”. I think many are able to deal with moments like this.
A horse may not kick us in the literal sense of the word, but there are unexpected situations in life that will bring pain, tears, and lameness to your step. They are neither playful nor adventurous.
And although it is not welcome, it does happen.
With my real experience kicking a horse, I’ve learned to look at life’s kicks in a detached way.
When life gives you a kick:
K – Know that you are not alone. While you were in the emergency room and listening to my plight, several islanders proceeded to tell me their stories of kicking horses. Many of the stories were entertaining, while others were more difficult to hear. In their own way, they meant to console me.
No one is exempt from life kicks, but some hurt more than others. Remember, you are not alone.
I – Invest in life saving tools. I would have put on body armor if I had known of the upcoming event. Kicks may come at us suddenly and unexpectedly.
Until then, I’ve learned to invest time in developing positive mindset and coping skills that strengthen my mental armor and prepare me for the inevitable. This may not relieve the pain, but it will help one persevere.
C – Calm yourself and breathe. When my body hit the ground, I completely felt the wind. After I had difficulty breathing, it wasn’t until the therapist came over and kept telling me to breathe in a calm voice that I relaxed and caught my breath.
K – Keep going. Get support. never quit. I refer to the mental and emotional state of an individual. It is the mental and emotional parts of experience that define us. How does one react to setbacks? How does a person get back on his feet after a “kick”?
While the rest of the family enjoyed the remainder of the vacation, I passed the time lying unable to move due to the pain.
According to the stories of the islanders, I was very lucky that this situation did not have the worst possible outcome. Lessons learned have been picked up, and so have I.
Although I will never attempt riding a horse again, I enjoy its beauty, strength and power from a comfortable distance. Given the opportunity, I’m sure I’d “get back on that horse.”
Life is certainly a melody of ups and downs, but it is how we handle each “kick” that defines our character, helps us persevere, and teaches us to live one day at a time. who do you know
A good “kick” may be necessary to wake us up.
“You will have hard times, but they will always wake you up to the good things you didn’t pay attention to.” Sean, Goodwill Hunting
Diana Jaworski, FOCUS Coaching Services, is a Certified Coach, Educator, Coach, and Speaker with the Maxwell Leadership Certified Team. Learn more about personal growth by visiting her website at www.dianajaworski.com.