I’ve always told people I’m from Boston when I’m traveling because 1.) It’s quicker and more convenient than trying to explain where Topsfield is on a map, and 2.) I love humoring people with my subtle accent, which only pops up when I talk fast.
51 weeks out of the year I look forward to that one week in August in big sky country. Those who are in the martial arts business know there’s something to be said for structure, but freeing myself from the taught reigns of suburban life can sometimes be even more comforting than a familiar routine.
Day 1 I was thrown off my horse Jesse James. But let me just put it out there: I’ve probably ridden only 18 days collectively in my entire life, so I’m no expert. I think the pain was masked by the shock of being on the horse one moment, and on the ground the next. Overall, I think riding is a lot like playing an instrument; there’s a lot of time keeping involved. The minute you lose the beat, it’s all downhill from there. However, I DID learn the importance of that saying, “fall off the horse 8 times, get up 9”. I think everyone should fall off a horse at least once just for the experience 😛
later on in the week was the all day ride to the campground the teens would be staying at overnight, via Elk Ridge. Elk Ridge is a vertical cliff the horses (and riders) despise for its height and location (thousands of feet over the Snake River.) Every year it scares the living daylights out of me. Imagine if I could conquer all my fears in one summer!
In conclusion, cowboy boots are the most comfortable shoes I own. The lessons of being thrown off a horse were well worth the “hematoma bruise” (as my friend Lilli calls it) that appeared later. It’s upsetting that I have to wait 300-and-something days to see those friends we re-bond with year after year. And those sobs I tried hopelessly to muffle on the plane ride back are only mourning for the Milky Way and meteor showers that were visible every night.
They say home is where the heart is. So while it’s true I’m from Topsfield (or Boston as some like to think), I’d be lying if I said that’s where my heart is at this moment. In reality, this heart is still lying out under the Big Dipper, preparing for a lope through the sage brush of Moose, Wyoming.