Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Miserably Fun Adventure

This last week has flown by in a hurry and was filled to capacity with a motley assortment of mini-adventures.  It all started last Tuesday with three straight days of track meets in the howling winds of West Texas, followed by an Adventure Race in Georgetown over the weekend, and ending with a trip to SCR to help process bulls.  Thank goodness tomorrow is Good Friday and this homebody can catch a break cause I'm flat tuckered.

The Adventure Race was my first and I can only describe it as "miserable fun".  Ten of us from this area went together and seven of the ten work at the middle school with me.  Let's just say we took bonding with one's co-workers to a whole 'nother level. 

The Mighty San Gabriel Sprint Race:  All the fun of our longer race except designed for the beginner, teams of 2 will run, bike, paddle, facing team challenges and obstacles along the way.  Be prepared for approximately 1-3 miles of paddling, 8-10 miles of biking, and 3-5 miles of trekking plus some surprises.  Estimated winning time is 2 hours. 

Two hours??  Ha!  We finished in six.  The trekking (aka running) was not too bad, and although it took Amber and I a while to get our canoe traveling in a straight line, that wasn't too horrible either but the biking. . .well, the biking was pure misery. 

I grew up riding bikes just like the next kid but the gears on my ten speed were superfluous. In Flatland, TX you're changing them for giggles, not cause you have to in order to climb a stinkin MOUNTAIN!!  Okay, maybe it was a hill but still, you get my point.  I'm pretty sure my calfs caught on fire a few times and I had to use my asthma inhaler twice.  Not to mention the fact that most of the trail was a foot wide with a death drop to the left, flesh eating bushes on the right, and gigantor boulders straight ahead.  To top it all off, I made the genius decision to not wear padded biking shorts because I didn't think they would be comfortable.  ARGH!!  My ignorance knows no bounds.  My butt bones were cussing me six ways to Sunday by mile four.

It really was fun though.  Look at how much fun I'm having. . . .

My teammates plot, I contemplate bicycular homicide.
Miserable fun.  This must've been snapped when, after the initial relief of completing the dreadful bike ride, I found out I was going to have to ride the dang thing again to get to the canoes.  I was not happy, not happy at all.  And neither were my butt bones.

I've been asked if I'd do another and I really can't say for sure, but I probably would.  I'd do a few things differently, of that I am sure.  Like wear the stupid padded shorts for starters and maybe train a smidge beforehand. 

Anyway, I left the Adventure Race in Georgetown and made the six hour trip home to shower and re-pack before climbing in the truck with my dad for five more hours so that we could help process bulls at SCR.  A loooong trip but so worth it when this is what was waiting for me. . .


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

End of Day

Tension was a tightness that moaned and snapped deep in my muscles.  I flexed and rolled my shoulders, laid my head to the side and let it glide back and then around.  The tension didn't have a name, wasn't specific, rather it was simply a by-blow of a busy day filled with the ever-present drama that surrounds adolescents. 

Closing my eyes I took a deep breath and made a conscious effort to let it go.  I relaxed and slid deeper into the welcoming leather of my saddle.  My legs hung long and loose, my calves and inner thighs draped around the gentle slope of Ruby's barrel. 

Releasing my grip on the reins I allowed them to rest on the neck of my mare as I extended my arms out from my sides.  I unfolded my fingers from my palm and opened my hands to the sky. 

The breeze was cool, but gently so, and smelled teasingly of rain.  It caressed my arms and traveled up the sleeves of my t-shirt to wrap itself briskly around my torso. 

My body swayed with the reach and fall of Ruby's hooves.  Left hind, left fore, right hind, right fore. . . .
Tension was now a liquid that flowed out from my fingertips, escaping my body to be carried away on the wind.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bouncing Back

It was a great weekend and there were many things to be thankful for, such as:

**Friday evening I was able to ride with a gentleman that is a successful competitor in ranch horse competitions.  He was kind, patient, helpful AND complimentary of my horses.  Kinda makes me puff my chest out a little just thinking about it.

I rode Snakebite most of the time and she was very handy.  We worked on rollbacks, turnarounds (spins), and boxed a few calves.  The only drawback was that she is, ahem, overweight and out of shape and was huffing and puffing pretty quick into the ordeal.  Sounds familiar. . . Pot, meet Kettle.

Next, I rode Ruby  and she seemed to go a lot better on the soft dirt of the arena than she has been on the hard ground at home.  She was feeling so good that we worked one slow calf, our first since August of last year.  We were both pretty pumped!

I took Socks but left him standing tied to the trailer.  Dad took him to the vet last week and had his right front ankle xrayed.  The xray showed shadowing around the navicular bone that the vet associated with arthritis from an old injury.  He recommended we try injections to alleviate pain.  Hopefully he'll get his ankle injected this week and I can work him a little next time.

**Saturday, my Dad and I worked at my house trimming trees and building fence for a little side yard.  We didn't quite get done but I think the finished product is going to look really nice.

**Sunday, I went to church with my family and like most kids my age I doodled on the church bulletin. 

One of the scribbles was this picture of my sister, Danielle, chucking her crutches.  She has a stress fracture and has been wearing a boot and using crutches for far too long.  She's just a little tired of it and has taken to throwing them javelin-style when she becomes frustrated.  Did I mention she's a red head??  Well, she is and you know what they say about them redheads. . . .they're awful sweet :).

**Sunday afternoon I took Journey and Tango over to a fellow Leo owner's house for a playdate.  Tango is Waltraut's dog that I'm puppysitting until she is recovered from her surgery.  Tango stayed with me some last year too and is the young female in the pictures on this post.  Liz and I talked dogs and the Bergers got to sniff each others derrieres and play a bit so a good time was had by all!

Liz and Leos Nockerl, Journey, Tango & Tyr

Nockerl & Tango, mother & daughter

Tango giving Liz a little Leo-love