Regretting the coward in me
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Yesterday, a friend invited me to ride what they had planned to be a fairly long ride (15-20 miles). Perfect as both our horses can really walk out and we can cover about 4 miles in an hour; well that works if you continue forward movement.
We hauled about an hour up the road to a trailhead that sat at an elevation of 3900' and we started climbing to a high elevation of 6800'. Much of the climb was wooded and if you've ever ridden on steep slopes, you'll understand when I say how releaved you are when there are trees (at that elevation, tiny little trees) that might stop a tumbling fall?
So climbing along and trying to remain calm as the trail narrows, as the soil turns soft, as I hear stones tumbling down the slope, as my horse spins on the trail because he thought he saw a carrot in my hand - WHO AM I KIDDING, I have dismounted and am now walking down the trail in front of my horse. Now the horse has actually done just fine. And he even jumped (after I dismounted) a chest high tree that blocked the trail. He only looked for carrots because he was hungry and I have a bad habit of feeding him while I'm riding (usually on a level trail). So I cannot blame him.
It was my own fears and doubts. I ask this horse to trust me, but I was not trusting him. And now I regret it. I regret not fully enjoying the amazing views of the surrounding mountains (including Mt Rainier & Mt Adams), of the ski lodge & runs far below, of the dainty little wildflowers, of the birds. I regret whining and allowing my friend to see my weakness. I regret talking my friend into shortening the ride for my convenience instead of helping them fulfill a goal.
Yes, I regret not really enjoying the adventure of life that this ride was offering me. Instead I coward in fear of death or injuy. Is that not regret of living?
Of course I am now sitting safely in my home and my horse is safely grazing in the field. Am I a coward or do I just value living? Maybe my only real regret was forgetting my camera and not getting some photos to share.