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With our age, our enthusiasm to wander out of our comfort zone lessens. Let us try living more like our kids and learn a thing or two from them?
Every summer, we would pack up our house, dump everything in suitcases and head off for a vacation.
I recall one such summer vacation.
Standing helplessly in the midst of travelling bags, ready to leave for the journey, with the chaos and excitement of my kids aged 9 and 5 then, I somehow manage to do the last minute verification of checklist of all the essential requirements of my young ones.
I decide not to complain about the hurly-burly and the subsequent delay, instead, I am quietly trying to enjoy the long tiring journey with my super energetic chicks.
At long last, we reached our destination and our formal holiday had begun.
Sitting on the balcony of the resort, I smiled, as this was the time of the year when I relish the prospect of doing absolutely nothing and unwinding with the switch off mode on. But my overenthusiastic elder one jostles in with a declaration that we had to go horseback riding! Right away!
Putting away all thoughts of lazying up and doing nothing, I decided to set an example of an ideal mother and keep the needs of my little one before my own.
Sitting on a horse for me is like being in hot water but notwithstanding this fear. First and foremost we hit the local market to shop for hats but settled for helmets. Before getting on a horse we wanted to make sure that we wore a proper riding helmet considering safety before everything else. We were looking more like cowboys rather than cowgirls.
The first tedious task…mounting the horse using a horse mount! Precisely following the instructions given by the horse guy, I pick the reins with the left hand, put my left foot in the stirrup closet and pushed myself over the saddle! I finally succeed in the task of mounting after a struggling for a few minutes.
Second hurdle! I sat properly on the saddle, let my leg hang in such a manner that it allowed my weight to fall down on my heels, another command by the horse guy. I accomplished this job also successfully.
Holding the reins correctly with just the right tension to maintain control without restricting the horse’s movement was the third piece of struggle!
The horse guy is was guiding my elder one’s horse, mine was an obedient one, the former, and my younger one who was too small to ride alone was tucked with his father on another horse.
Our ride has started. Eventually!
Slowly and Steadily.
but only I knew that the feeling of insecurity that was flaring up…..
Instinctively using my hands and arms when I start feeling insecure, I ended up with my hands in the air leaving control of the horse. Next few minutes passed with me trying to balance myself, learning yet another lesson of balancing!! I also learnt that anything that affects our balance also affects our horse’s ability to do its job well!.
Soon I realized that riding was more about balance than grip.
Sweating in the afternoon, I was battling to keep my foot properly not allowing my leg to swing to the front or back, one more difficult venture for me.
Riding uphill or downhill, the most complicated errand! Making absolutely sure to maintain the position of the centre of my horse is another terrifying challenge for me, as balancing became an unnerving task.
Heading uphill meant leaning forward and travelling downhill meant leaning back. I sense that now these tasks were exerting me completely, though I was glad to see that my little one is thoroughly enjoying the ride.
Suddenly I saw my horse has started to brisk walk and I thanked my lucky stars as I was saved just in time from falling head on heels.
After climbing a steep hillock, we were now on a path which was very narrow, and on one side, there was a steep drop of some thousand odd feet straight into the valley. I immediately sent a prayer up and hoped that we would cross it soon intact in one piece.
Thankfully that was the last straw!
I sensed that every muscle in the body was becoming sore. All I wanted to do was give up when my girl who was merrily enjoying, called out asking if I was scared and already tired. I wanted to yell at her for putting me through this as I was not energetic, enthusiastic and more so nothing like her anymore. But I didn’t utter a word as I heard the ‘MOTHER INDIA’ in me whispering into my ears that our kids learnt from us and we were their role models. One must not give up in any draining situation.Mustering my courage and strengthening my willpower, I moved ahead and saw the setting sun who had witnessed my efforts to finish the entire ride of two hours.
At last, the ordeal was over when we were back at the resort and I could finally get off the horse.
Yes indeed…with the most thrilling experience of horseback riding and I saw my cherished dream of idling and lazying up.
I also realised that I was exhausted and excited at the same time. I felt truly wonderful having been pulled through successfully each moment of riding hurdle to hurdle.
Now that I think, we grownups struggle with our fears. Yeah, we fear our fears, try to take the easiest way out, the laziest way, sometimes fearing to try out scary things thinking that the age is not in our favour.
I wish we must live like kids, enthusiastic to learn and try new things, even if these things appear scary. Conquer our fear, run, jump, climb a tree, ride a horse, chase a butterfly, tumble, and learn how to live merrily…….
…..truly in that manner, I endeavoured to overcome my fear of horseback riding again a few years back with my toddler!!!!
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