“Don’t forget to wear a helmet!” My dad yelled as I ran out the garage door to his beautiful, shiny red moped. As I started the engine, my whole body was immediately filled with a rush of joy and adrenaline pumping through my veins. Cruising at a speed of 25 mph, I rushed past the houses of my neighbors and friends. For some unknown reason, I decided to explore the side streets and steep hills along my dirt road that led to adventurous cul de sacs. Wanting to feel the wind blow through my hair and not having a care in the world, I found myself going faster and faster, not realizing there was a big patch of mud. Snap! The hill came so quickly and within seconds I am lying on the ground with unbearable pain filling my entire left side. Scrambling out from under the moped, I searched frantically for my phone hoping it was not broken so I could call my father for help. As I waited for him on the side of the road, a man and woman came running over knowing I was hurt. This kind woman waited with me and gave me ice to put on my leg. I immediately tensed up because with even the slightest touch of my hand, pain filled my body all over again. Since my dad came running down the road without a car, the nice couple rushed us to our house so we could go to an urgent care. Within only a few hours, my heart was crushed into tiny little pieces.
Within a few days I was expected to do a horse show in Oxford; something I have not done in two-three years. With my new injuries, no one thought it would be possible for me to get on a horse and compete since I could barely even walk! The doctor said to stay on bed rest the entire weekend and not to wear anything other than shorts and a short sleeve shirt to help my skin heal. Shiny, clear tears ran down my face knowing the challenges that I was about to face. Pain ran all throughout my body as I tried to get into the car. Seeing the scratches, scars, and scabs that were already forming on my leg, knee, and arm made my skin boil with anger. How could I have been so stupid thinking that I could make that turn? Why didn’t I slow down rather than go so fast? What if I just went on someone's lawn instead of trying to make the turn? Always so many “what if’s” but it could never change what I did.
The past few days have been horrendous. I was not even able to walk to the kitchen without being in pain and yet here I am, determined to compete in the horse show within only a few minutes. I am so excited that I can feel my pulse beating faster and faster in my chest.
“How’s your leg and arm feeling?” asked my friend Marie. Marie has always been there for me regardless of my condition. I have known her for many years through the barn and could not be happier that we are friends.
“It’s feeling better but still hurts like crazy.” I said through my clenched teeth and a fake smile. “But I am more determined than ever!”
Half limping, half speed walking, I trotted down the hill with my tall, slender horse, Mali, feeling the warm summer breeze in my hair. Walking down the hill, the smell of hay and horse feed with a mix of grease from the food stand at the horse show filled my senses. With the extreme heat of the sun on my black show coat and gloves, I tightened my horse's girth and prepared myself to mount her. Slowly climbing on the mounting block, I grabbed Mali’s reins, put one foot into the stirrup, and slowly swung my right leg over her as I lowered myself into the saddle. Almost immediately, pain shot up from my knee filling my entire body. Looking at all the other riders I noticed how devoted and determined they were at winning their sections; but then again so was I. Looking down at my leg, I noticed a liquid seeping through my breeches causing my body to tense all over once again. Nothing was going to make me give up this horse show for the world! I refused to quit knowing how much time and energy I put into my division while representing Shenanigans Farm. As I walked into the arena, my heart began to beat faster and faster. Then I remembered something.... No matter how much pain I was in or how much better the other riders were, I refused to give up. I put 100% of my effort and my entire being into becoming the best rider at the show.