A while back, the daughter of my best friend’s wife took up barrel racing. Switched from volleyball to something a bit more dangerous. Now she’s good at it. Experience is an excellent teacher, and she’s got one or two scars to prove it.
So when I was invited along for a visit, I thought maybe I could get a good video of my bad self riding up, and saying howdy to the camera. Got all gussied up in my cowboy finest, channeled Hoppy, Gene and Roy, The Lone Ranger and the Cisco Kid, my Saturday morning TV favorites of long ago, and did it with the help of those with whom I was visiting. Not the best dismount ever, but…okay.
And it surprised me when they offered to give me a shot at barrel racing. Like I sometimes say to myself, “Well…..what the hell.”
For those of y’all who’ve never seen the sport, imagine a large rectangular corral with a gate at one end. Against the far end and on both sides are barrels. The rider enters at a gallop, leads the horse to circle the barrels along the side, then the one at the top, and back out the entrance gate. Around 15 seconds is a good score.
I was in a smaller corral than normal, but the game is the same. Someone yelled “Go”, I kicked the horse and off we went. Around the barrel on the left, then the right, over to the last one at the top, and back to the starting gate. Whew! What a ride! Time? Between two and three minutes if I remember incorrectly. Okay, so we weren’t going very fast, and were carefully circling each barrel, but I’m certain we almost got into a gallop in the home stretch. Of course, my youthful fantasies of being like Hoppy, Gene and Roy were somewhat diminished, but I had three things to show for it. An obviously bruised ego, a bruised butt (not immediately obvious), and the lesson learned…stick to being a weekend cowboy, preferably on the dance floor.
Don’t get me wrong, I love horses, but having a 2000 pound animal between your legs traveling at a fast gallop is something I now know I need to relegate to the distant past. A nice slow trail ride is more my speed.
I guess what I’m saying is “TRY IT!”….that activity you’ve always wanted to try. Like Argentine Tango, synchronized swimming, kayaking. Every new thing you try grows brain cells, and you’ll learn something about yourself. You don’t have to do dangerous things, but you do have to get up off the couch and stay active physically and mentally. Play board games with friends and/or neighbors, go to the courthouse and watch some trials, sit on your porch on an evening and try to find the big dipper and a few other constellations.
Or take a class at the Human Potential Center. I just finished one on “Getting Unstuck”, and for the past few days I’ve been positively enervated and intend to put what I’ve learned into action. More classes are offered on a lot of different subjects, so check out the website. http://www.humanpotentialcenter.org/
Me? Time to go soak my butt again.