“Get back on the horse.” It’s a metaphor, or an adage or an idiom. You pick. It generally means if you get hurt doing something, try again as soon as possible or you will be afraid of it forever. Since this post is about fearlessness, let’s just say, I’m no stranger to getting back on the horse.
I fell while racing my bike around the circle at the end of the street when I was young. The entire left calf scraped and ripped up. I was back on the bike right away. I suspect there are many other similar incidents. That one has stuck with me.
When it comes to jobs, I’ve been laid off, down-sized, right-sized, and eliminated. I kept going back for more until I decided to take control of my fate and work for myself, so to speak.
When it comes to relationships, I’ve tried a stable of horses. My lips are sealed on that topic.
In this story, there I was, flat on my back on the Alaskan tundra, arms out stretched, nothing but sky above me. I took a few deep breaths, enjoying the view and getting my bearings.
“Are you OK? Like mother like daughter,” my brother quipped from his saddle. Our mother was thrown from a horse on a summer trip to Yellowstone in 1960 something. She landed on a rock and never did get on a horse again.
I wiggled my fingers, arms, toes and legs. I felt my head and torso. “Nothing hurts. Am I bleeding?”
If it had been on film, it would have been in slow motion. We were taking a break at the turn-around point of our ride. My horse bolted for his place in line for the trip back to the barn. Not expecting the sudden movement, I wasn’t hanging on and slowly slid to the left. I became acutely aware that both feet were still in the stirrups. I focused my attention on getting them loose or I would be dragged along like a stunt double in a movie.
The top layer of the tundra is spongey with plant life in the summer. It was a soft landing.
Our guide rode over. “Can you get back on your horse?”
“I guess so, but I’ll need a boost. I can’t reach the stirrups from the ground.”
My options were to either climb on the large boulder that just happened to be nearby and get back on my horse or wait for the ATV to come fetch me. I climbed on the boulder.
“I’ve been training for this my whole life. See you at the barn.”