Tuesday, August 6, 2019


When I started 2019, I was exercising and eating right. Spending every evening on the treadmill, I challenged myself like never before and was running 4-7 miles every night. I'd spend time listening to podcasts and reading books to help sharpen my focus and improve my mental game.  I was finally at a place mentally and physically that I hadn't been since high school. 2019 was going to be it; it was going to be my year.

One of my favorite books is "Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success, Building Blocks For A Better Way Of Life" by John Wooden and Jay Carty.  It is eye opening and inspiring to me.  Within it, Wooden talks about each characteristic or building block needed to be successful and then related it to the Bible.  At the beginning of the year, I decided that I'd pick out a word to be my focus word.  A word that when I got to a low spot, that seeing, hearing, or thinking it would help me out of the hole and give me the push I needed to keep going.  My word was "initiative."

Defined by Wooden, initiative is to "cultivate the ability to make decisions and think one. Do not be afraid of failure, but learn from it." This hit home because I have a hard time going outside my comfort zone and beyond something that I've done before. It's been a word that I started the year clinging to when I wanted to quit because it was just too hard or I was too tired, it helped me push through to that extra mile.  It helped me reached for more knowledge on a variety of subjects. It helped me push myself further in my horsemanship despite my fear of failure.  It pushed me to be healthy.  I took any extra step I could to do better.

I felt it in my bones and in my heart; this was it. This was the year that things came together. 2019 was my time.  Until tragedy struck.  The loss of my father-in-law in March rocked our family down to our core. The hurt and pain is something that I wish on no one. Our lives came to a standstill as we struggled to find our new normal.  Yet the duties of the ranch and the kids stayed in full force.

Our spring and summer were spent with dodging what's next to go wrong. Horses hurt, colts dieing, calves lost, kids hurt, our bad luck seemed to just keep coming.  Duties on the ranch and for the kids were starting to settle down and I was getting excited to finally be able to put the time into what I'd spent the first part of the year preparing for when the what's next came; I had an accident.

I didn't see it coming. I was taking my foot out of my stirrup when she turned into me, knocking me down to the ground.  The next moment seemed to happen in slow motion as I laid there and my horse stepped on my leg, just on the inside of my calf. Luckily my husband wasn't far away and took me to the house. After seeing my leg, he rushed me to the ER and then onto another hospital three hours away for surgery.

I'm thankful and blessed through my ordeal because it could have been so much worse.  The horse had scraped 3 inches of my tibia and had she landed a fraction of an inch over I'd have had an open compound fracture and a much different story.  As it ended up, I had a deep laceration through my calf but luckily nothing that couldn't be stitched back up and put back together.

It's been almost two months since the accident and I'm healed up beautifully for the most part.  Nerve pain is a nuisance that's been hard to deal with and kept me from riding. However my negative attitude and depression were my biggest hang ups in my recover.  I've had a lot down time to think, to read, and it led me back to my word, initiative.  Except in that moment, that word wasn't working for me. It didn't help push me or bring me out of the hard times like it had helped me do those extra squats or hold that plank for just a little while longer. I needed something else for that moment, not A word but THE word.

I began to dive into my Bible and in my searching I found, "We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character and character produces hope." Romans 5:34. Hope, I felt like I had no hope at that time, something that desperately needed.The more that I read this verse all I could think of was one word, perseverance.  Perseverance as defined is steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

It brought me a whole new attitude.  Suddenly the nerve pain that I deal with, especially when I ride, is worth dealing with and although I don't have the same mindset as I did at the beginning of the year, that 2019 is my year, I do know that all is not lost, it just no longer has a timeline attached to it. I will endure and I will push on in my journey and quest to my work on my passion and goals because I know in the end that I will take the initiative to do today despite the fear of failure of tomorrow, have perseverance to keep on going, but most of all faith in God.  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to her purpose." Romans 8:28.

I share my story and my struggles with you today not for pity or recognition but for those that may be in the same pits of despair as myself. I pray for you in your struggle however different or similar it may be to mine.

Photo credit: Tina Graham

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