The above quote pretty much sums up my 2017. I did a lot of changing and had more than my fair share of challenges to usher me along the journey. I don't plan on doing a full year in review here but I do want to touch on the event that was the catalyst for most of my inner reflection.
For those that do not know me personally I managed to tear my ACL completely in half, 3rd degree sprain my MCL and tore my meniscus by simply taking a bad step while longeing a horse. That's it. Didn't step in a hole, or get kicked by a horse, or manage to not quite stick a sweet landing off of a killer ski slope. Nope, one. bad. step.
I spent a couple of months after my injury doing "prehab" in order to get my leg strong enough for the surgery. I also needed to juggle the recovery period around the busiest time of year in my work schedule. Thankfully, my employer was very understanding and amazing to work with. I was also able to continue to ride and work with the horses during this time (with caution) which kept my sanity in check.
March 21st was the fateful day and the surgery was textbook. Upon waking up the first thing I asked the attending nurse was "When can I ride again?" to which my mother replied "Not for 6 months". My reaction was not very dignified .
Things I learned during recovery:
- I have a high pain tolerance. Generally considered to be one of the more painful knee surgeries/recoveries, I can honestly say I had little discomfort regarding my knee. Go me I guess. I plan on not testing my newly discovered superpower anytime soon.
- My self-identity is heavily tied to the ability to be active. Not being able to run or jump or ride or bike or do ANYTHING active took a heavy toll on my mental health. I had no idea how much of "me" was correlated to being able to do physically taxing things.
- I have the best parents ever. They took time off work to care for me during my recovery and never once complained. I don't think I would have made it physically, financially or emotionally through 2017 without their support.
- I really really love my kitten. He is pretty much the best thing on the entire planet. He made my recovery immensely more bearable. I mean..... just look at how ridiculously cute he is......
The various poses of Turk helping me through recovery
During my down time I was finally able to devote myself to getting this website up and running. It took a considerable amount of time, but I am pleased I was able to do something productive while laying in bed cuddling with kitten. I also heavily reconsidered the direction I wanted to go in my career, with the horses, and just with my life in general. Some results of this scrutiny are:
- I am currently enrolled in graduate school pursuing a degree in Systems Engineering (goodbye free time).
- I have decided to shift my focus with the horses from showing my own personal horses to sourcing high quality Eventing prospects for resale.
- I officially made the switch from amateur to professional in the equine industry and will show and train outside horses on a case by case basis.
Arguably the most difficult part of 2017 for me was the decision to lease (with the option to buy) my mare Capri "Artful Design". This girl is my heart horse and the decision to let her go was one of the hardest choices I have ever made. She is in an absolutely fantastic home though and letting her go opens up some opportunities that were not available to me before. It turns out life is all about trade offs. Sometimes in order to move forward, you must make some tough sacrifices.
Be good sweet girl! I sure do miss you.