Tuesday, 16 December 2008

In my past life

When I was a kid I was horse crazy!

Nothing would stop me from making my way to a local stable to pay for hour long trail ride or whether it was just hanging over a fence enticing a horse with an apple. My room was full of horse pictures, books and toys. Most girls wanted Barbie (which I always ended up with), but I wanted a Tonka Truck along with the horse trailer (which I got). I even made my dog jump obstacles in the backyard, pretending we were at a horse show.

As I got older I made arrangements to work on weekends with one of the "larger" equestrian stables, so I could pay for riding lessons. As always, you work harder than what an hour long lesson actually costs. I mucked out stalls, taught little kids to ride and groomed at horse shows. I even got to ride at a couple of some of the smaller shows.

My family could not afford a horse, so I begged, borrowed but never stole a horse to show. I gained the reputation of a kid who would get on and ride anything and pick up ribbons along the way. I would get on anything, whether it was great, good or a puke, I'd ride it into the ring as if we were going to win (even though I wasn't a great rider, I always loved what I did).

Along the way I met riders, rich and poor and always had a great time. Eventually I met, who I thought would be my partner in life and we ran a very successful show stable. He even competed as a member of the Canadian Equestrian Team. We rode and showed across Canada and USA, although he did most of showing, I maintained the home farm and got the young horses started.

To make a long story short(er), I took some nasty falls along the way...breaking collar bones, my nose several times and even breaking fingers and toes along the way...throw in a car accident and well, you're pretty much a wreck.

I decided that it was just getting too dangerous for me to be on the younger animals and I semi-retired from riding to flying the skies.

My passion of riding continued but with easier horses to ride and show. It was fun to be back on the circuit again, we let go of the show stable and just became "boarders".

Life changes and my "significant other" had a roaming eye, I was away flying and came home to find him in a compromising situation with one of our younger students (yes, she was of legal age).

So, I packed up and headed out, both living arrangements and stable arrangements. My young mare had only a barn name at the time, but she was ready to start showing, so I named her "The Secrets Out" a little vendictive but what the heck...as life would have it, another series of events unfolded and I lost her in a barn fire. She was a lovely animal and would have really done well on the show circuit, the last show I had her at before her death, she was Preliminary Reserve Champion.

Again, life turns, I got over the trauma of loosing a beloved pet in such a fashion and I was going to try out another horse, as I was getting ready to mount up and swing my leg over the saddle, the horse reared straight up into the air and flipped over pinning me underneath. (I had asked if the animal had any quirks). Needless to say another injury to add to the list. I had a fractured left hip....

So, you ask, where the hell is this story going?

Ever since that fall I've been very careful with myself, maybe too careful, where I sat on the couch ate and drank like I'd never reach 200 pounds....well I did...and then some. After another life altering situation of a health scare, major drugs and major surgery, I thought, girl, you've got one kick at this life, get your sorry ass in gear and do something about it.

So, I started running.

That was eight years ago and I've never looked back. Running has changed my life for the positive, I've met some wonderful people, I've run in some really wonderful locations and I've got the Wooo Hooo's. I've got a new lease on life...minor injuries are nothing now, so when I hurt my back in November, it wasn't a new hurt, it was just re-awakening something from long ago....a left hip fracture, so I was compensating by putting too much pressure on my right S.I. joint.




I'm working with my Chiropractor and even though it was recommend to me that I may not be running any huge distance for awhile in the near future, it isn't going to stop me. For now, walking and 5k's will work, in the new year I'll have to make the decision as to whether I'll be ready for the Half Marathon on January 25th.

Life's fun if you don't weaken,

Lily

24 comments:

Melanie said...

Wow! You're an inspiration, and congrats on sharing your story to motivate/encourage/inspire others. you should be very proud of your accomplishments. Wishing you all the best, and many years of running :)

Wes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wes said...

Naw, girl, you got it all wrong. It is you who add value to our lives. Keep up the good work!

:-)

Kim said...

Good Job for one-even having the nerve to get knocked down. Then getting back up. That's what life is about.

I think we're sisters. I used to show as a young girl too-quarter horses.

Marlene said...

Wow, thank you so much for sharing your story. And a wonderful story it is - lots of ups and downs. It's nice to learn how running came into your life and completely changed it.

I'm so sorry about your recent injury but I love your attitude. You never weaken!!

BeachRunner said...

You are awesome, Lily. The BEST!

Thanks for sharing some of your fascinating life story. My wish is that your wonderful journey continues for many, many more years and is filled with WAY more Wooo Hooos than bumps and bruises. Keep on running, homegirl!!

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

Wow, that is quite a life you have led so far. It sounds like you have developed a great attitude in spite of the setbacks.

At least now when you fall down running, it's a much shorter drop...

...and nothing is coming down on top of you. ;-)

Carly said...

Wow, great post lily!

Ted said...

Wow !! It was a "jaw dropping" post I have read. Thank you so much for sharing this. You never cease to amaze me. Most people would just stop in their track and not do anything in their life. However, you kept going. You have found a new passion in your life. You have made the decision to keep it going.

Thanks for sharing! Whew, terrific post.

Amy said...

Hi Lily, thanks for sharing your amazing and inspirational story. Gave me a much needed perspective adjustment!
Hugs!

Alexandra said...

What an inspiring post! Thank you for sharing this with us! I admire people like you with determination, fortitude and more simply stated, a huge passion for life!

Anonymous said...

talking about getting back on the horse after the fall....

I already knew you were one tough girl...

good for you... but watch those bones... and who did ya get to model the tighty whiteys?

Check my page for some good SI joint pictures...
HUGS
and love you girlfriend!

MarieA said...

um.. that was me.. blogger flipped on me in the middle of signing off!

Xenia said...

You're inspirational, truly.

Hope your back improves soon. Take care, Lily!

Mark said...

You are a runner! A very inspiring post.
Thanks

bluecolnago said...

:)

Bert said...

Lily,

Wow what a fascinating and inspiring life story. You are clearly a very strong and determined person, with a good measure of perseverance, the most underrated of traits. Keep on trucking - and running!

Nat said...

You've got quite the story there my dear. I do hope you'll take it easy and heal up the run another day. (As hard as that may be.)

There is a new marathon (with a half) at the end of Feb. Might be something to consider (I think it's called the Winterman or some such gender specific stupidity.)

Hugs.

The Running Knitter said...

I liked this post and love your outlook. :)

RunToFinish said...

I was never quite the committed rider as you, but I used to ride when I was younger and after two nasty falls (one on my head) my decided I needed to give it up. I still think about ti, but that's one horse I haven't gotten back on after falling... hmm maybe 2009 is the year to tackle that

Laurel said...

Wow Laurel! What a post!

I used to ride too! In pretty much the exact same fashion you did (working at a local small stable mucking stalls and caring for the horses in exchange for lessons). I showed for a couple of years (western, english with a little show jumping and barrel racing thrown in) and we even had a horse named Secret! What a coincidence!

I took a few nasty falls myself (bucked off, reared off, just falling off for no good reason, etc) and it was always scary. Luckily, I never got hurt that badly.

Once I found boys when I was 14, I decided I had better ways to spend my weekends and gave up on riding. I have always regretted it. I am dying to get back on a horse now, even if it's just for a trail ride through a park.

I'm glad running has helped you get through all that has happened to you. I hope you heal up in time for the Half Marathon. I'll be sending positive vibes your way.

Vava said...

That is some story! Amazing stuff to compress into a few paragraphs, and well. I hope you feel better soon and can run lots.

P.O.M. said...

Wow, those are crazy pics. Thanks for sharing your story. You're such an inspiration. And I know you'll do great at the half marathon!

Runner Leana said...

Laurel, thanks so much for being so open and honest and sharing. I hope your back improves. It is amazing what a gift running can be to our lives!