Doing It Scared

There have been many challenges I’ve faced in my life where the only thing I feel is fear and the only thing I think is “Wow, how am I gonna get out of this mess?” One of those moments happened to me when I was seventeen.

It was the first time I fell off a horse.

Let me set the scene for you. So my friend Jean was the owner of the beautiful piece of land where she managed a horse barn, which conveniently was right across the street from my childhood home. Everyday after school I would eagerly race across the street and enter the world of the horse. My friend was an excellent trainer and offered me free lessons if I helped take care of the horses. It was a no brainer for teenage me.

She taught me everything I know about horses including how to properly secure a saddle for riding. On this particular day I had neglected to tighten the girth, which is the elastic band that wraps underneath the horse ensuring the saddle stays in place.

So as we were barreling down the hill eager to set off on our train adventure when I felt my seat start to slip and slide and before I could register what was happening to me, I was flying through the air and crashing hard into the ground. Needless to say, I was sore for at least a week after that mishap.

As I lay there lying on the ground in pain, cuts all over my face from the fresh mowed hay in the field we were in, the fear smacked me like a ton of bricks. What was I supposed to do now?

I felt like a failure in that moment. Falling out of the saddle was more than just a mistake for me then. To me it felt like I had let everyone down that had trained me. I started to doubt myself and my ability to even ride a horse.

My friend who was accompanying me on the trail ride quickly came to my side and asked me if I was alright. I was careful to not move before looking down at my feet. Nothing broken thankfully. She gave me a once over and I stood up. I’ll never forget the next thing she told me.

“Get back on the horse”.

I thought I heard her wrong, but the stare she gave me definitely met she was serious and I wasn’t dreaming this mess I got myself into.

I looked at Tivey, the mare I was riding with hopeful but scared eyes. She was obviously stressed by the situation, but I knew what I had to do.

With my friend’s help I was able to get back on Tivey and ride her the way back to the barn to dismount and clean myself up. The whole way there I remember the adrenaline still rushing through me. I suspected that was why I felt no pain yet even though I know I was hurt.

What I learned that day I’ll take with me everywhere I go. I’ll remember the time I fell out the horse next time I have a challenge and I’ll remember what I did next.

Even though I was terrified to get back in the saddle, I knew if I didn’t, I never would again. My friend Michelle who accompanied me for the trail ride told me the first time she fell off a horse, it took her nearly ten years to try again.

That wasn’t going to be me.

I learned that day that you have to lean into your fears if you’re ever going to grow. No matter how scared you are, you can’t let your fears control you. You can’t let them run your life because at the end of the day you’re in charge. I felt afraid in that moment, but still I gripped the saddle and swung my boot over the other side and got back on the horse.

Sometimes you just have to do it scared. Even if you’re afraid of the outcome. Even if you’re afraid you’re not good enough. Because in these moments you have a choice. You can let what scares you defeat you, or you can rise above and believe in yourself.

I’ll remember this lesson and this day for the rest of my life because in this moment I overcame something I thought was impossible. I did something that was bigger than myself. In this moment I grew and so can you.

So whatever it is that you’re facing, I promise you that if you gather your courage and show compassion and grace to yourself, you can accomplish anything you want. They key is to not listen to that doubtful voice that whispers lies in your head. The key is to believe that no matter what happens, you will be okay.

And I promise if you do it scared you’ll look back and be so happy that you did.

Take care,

Maggie xo

By itsmaggie92

Hi I'm Maggie and I'm a 28 year old cat lady that loves writing and anything fun and adventurous.

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