The day after the fall I had to go on a business trip. Many of my clients noticed my stiffness and the scrapes on my face and asked what had happened. I told them, and even showed a few the video, which by this point seemed kind of funny to me.
Clearly the video is more impressive than I'd thought, as quite a few gasped with horror and then asked me if I ever thought I'd ride again.
HUH? Not ride again? The thought never crossed my mind. I mean, I do get it -- the fall could easily have been catastrophic. Thankfully, it wasn't. However, I'd wager I've had more potentially dangerous "close calls" on the highway. Seriously, has anyone been on the road in Jersey lately??
When I said that I planned to get back on as soon as possible, some asked if I was really comfortable risking myself when I had a family and kids to consider. While I concede my well meaning acquaintances have a point, I know for a fact that some of them have habits and/or passions that can have adverse affects on one's health. Mountain climbing and mountain biking come to mind. Skydiving, too. Heck, drinking, smoking and eating lots of rich food (prevalent trade show behavior) has been said to shorten one's life span. Granted, I get the short term versus long term differences between impaling one's self headfirst into the dirt as opposed to overindulging, but let's face it, either one poses risks.
So I've been thinking: Would I ever stop riding? Probably not. Anyone who knows me and cares about me knows I'm much happier (and thus much easier to live with!) when I'm riding, and no one close to me has asked me to give it up. Of course, I don't want to put my family in a situation tat would upset them, either.
Certainly countless other riders, most of whom better riders than I, have had horrific falls and suffered grave injuries, only to rebound and ride successfully again. I know what I did wrong, and will take all possible steps to eradicate the habit. Can we agree that riding possesses inherent risk, but when all precautions are taken, is not drastically more risky than driving, flying, or many other sports activities?
What WOULD make me hang up my helmet? Age and decrepitude, I hope, although recent stories in the Chronicle of the Horse and Dressage Today give me hope that I'll be riding into my advanced old age.
What, if anything, would make you stop riding?