Monday, September 5, 2016


Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.--Unknown

I've rarely given much thought about being able. You know, not having my abilities hindered either physically or mentally. That is, until my Summer of George, which has given me a lot to think about with respect to a reduction of mobility in general. I've always acknowledged the risks involved with riding and have fallen multiple times; as well, seen others do it and break their own bones. I've never thought twice about getting back on. Maybe I reconsidered at the time b/c I was shaken up and probably feeling a little tenderized but never post lesson/riding.

After I fell off, I wanted to get back on but the pain was telling me otherwise. Enough, that I relented to the suggestion by a "barn mom" to get to the hospital to get x-rays; you know, just in case. When the news was broken (ha, see what I did there!) to me, about the wrist and the knee/leg, I was devastated, embarrassed and annoyed. The physician informed me that I had a wrist fracture and would be casted for the usual 6 weeks (pending healing abilities) but the leg/knee break would require surgery *sob*. After the emotions subsided a bit, my immediate thoughts were: when would I be able to ride again and what I needed to tell my bosses.

My priorities were short-sighted. I neglected to consider all the things I take for granted: getting from bed to the bathroom, personal hygiene, eating... the list goes on. It wasn't until I was brought home that reality smacked me in the face, and then some. I had to collect my pride, independent nature and anxiety, then replace it with patience, humility, a positive sense of perspective, and some heavy pain medication.

The last three months have challenged me, and been the source of some of my most important lessons.

The most obvious lesson I've acquired in the last three months is the reality of a physical/mobility related limitation. But I failed initially to understand how it affected others around me; I understood it affect the obvious things like being able to ride that horse, or get from place to place, but a single limited individual depends on the support of others around them, to get things done. I would never have been able to get to my doctor appointments, have proper meals or even keep the house (the yard is a whole other story thanks to this summer) in a somewhat respectable manner without the help of others like my family and +ADW. Depending on others was difficult for me to accept because of my independent nature.

Another lesson I took from the accident itself, and apply both to my riding and to other areas of my life: make the best of what's been thrown your way, adapt and persevere. If I've made a commitment to do something, I just have to follow through. The reiteration of this concept is particularly important at this time because I will be starting a journey that won't end in a one hour lesson... I am returning to school to upgrade my marks in order to apply for vet college, and IF I get in, I'll be focusing on the schooling to get me to that end goal. Mental endurance and keeping that eye on the prize will be my focus.

An unexpected lesson arose as I was getting better and more mobile. My first trip out of the house (other than doctor visits) was to the mall by wheelchair. Once I got a taste of some of what I was missing, I wanted to go out all the time. Alas, that was not my fate and I have been trying not to fixate on the time passing to see when ADW would return and we could do something like go out or watch TV. The simple fact was I was surprised at just how bored I could become with a whole day of doing nothing but sitting on my butt writing, reading or watching. It's clear that I will need to incorporate an activity into my day too.

The experience as a whole has been eye opening and though not exactly wanted or planned, worthwhile to look through different perspectives to gain a better understanding of myself and others around me. I just hope that this never happens again b/c the last lesson outlined above was probably the most difficult to gain!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

A Review: Mockingjay

This is the last instalment of the popular trilogy, the Hunger Games. I read books before catching the movie so I can be sure I get the intent of the author, because movies are generally edited to fit the budget, length or even audience taste. The Walking Dead is the perfect example of the comic and the show having few commonalities other than zombies and Rick Grimes.

I breezed through this one just as fast as the other two and found it easy to get back into the story. Despite being another youth novel, I didn't struggle to get pulled into the story and followed right along. In this book, Katniss' character is changing more and more, and she's questioning her own motives and even behaviours. The fact that she's struggling to maintain her connection with Gale is a pivotal piece, in my opinion, because they both fed off one another throughout their youth. Even her little sister Primrose is no longer the whiny screechy kid sister and learning her own trade. This instalment is a sort of turning point where each characters' coming of age is evident. The story happens in more detail and at a much slower pace than the movies, which I appreciated.

The mockingjay flies free

Darker themes such as war, poverty, effects of war are more prominent in this book; giving it a darker tone than the previous two. The characters are plunged into darker versions of themselves when forced to confront the sadistic retaliation of the Capitol not evident in the first two. Difficult decisions are made and hard consequences are apparent. Our heroine reluctantly faces these new found situations and strives to maintain a sense of dignity and humanity. Reading the book gives you the inner dialogue of the characters that is impossible to gain from watching the movie and this story is best told in the written medium.