I love heroes on horseback. D’Artagnan, the swash-buckling musketeer, valiantly attempted to come to the request of the damsel in distress. Saturday movies of the old west featured the white hats chasing the bad guys through gulches, canyons and forests. Invariably, each was challenged with staying on their trusted horse, careening around obstacles at every turn. At just the right moment to conquer the challenge, some brush or stone knocked them from their horse, sending them sprawling to the ground. Yet without hesitation, they gallantly jumped right back on and galloped into the sunset saving the day.
As someone who figuratively gets knocked off my horse on a consistent basis, these stories always have an affect on me. I say figuratively since I have only literally been on horseback twice. Once to practice trail riding in anticipation of a family vacation, and the second when arriving at a dude ranch in Wyoming. It was there that I met my two new friends, Festus and Carnage, who became my plodding companions charged with returning me each day; both body and spirit intact. I was fortunate to ride twice daily, through the mountains and across mesas, captivated by the majesty of the peaks and valleys while awestruck by the grazing moose in the edge of the clearings we passed. I remained glued to the saddle.
You may have noticed in January, I fell off the horse and was knocked to the ground. This time figuratively, as I along with others in sales often do. I had momentum in posting on the Simple Leadership blog site weekly. Each morning I woke with the conviction to find some inspiration to be captured in words posted to this very site. After the challenge was met, there was a glow that I felt which offered a new perspective on writing and could now enter into the journalistic ranks of Hemingway, Thoreau, or maybe Bart Simpson. Then I fell off the horse. One day of rest during the holidays turned into two, then a week and finally a month went by. The more time I spent away from what I wanted to, the harder it was to get back in the saddle.
In March I realized that the screen heroes always had two choices to make when thrown off. The first was the decision to get back on the horse. How many times do we waver over a decision, looking for divine guidance on what direction to take? Being somewhat analytic in nature I always thought this was the most difficult step in the journey. Once the decision was made, the journey could begin. Applying that principle to my current state, I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t returning to my keyboard as I knew I wanted to, even felt I had to.
It finally dawned on me that D’Artagnan and the white hats only saved the damsel in distress when their butt was back in the saddle, acting on the decision and not just thinking about it. Every day something unexpected distracts us, knocks us off course or throws up obstacles and affects our attitude. The longer we wait to take the first step, the higher it seems that we have to reach for the stirrup. Yet, once we begin the ride, the journey is usually easier and quicker than we anticipate.
So I am back in the saddle, but I need the help of anyone who is reading this. You are now my new accountability partners. Save this site, subscribe to the RSS feed or just check in occasionally. Better yet, if you have fallen off some horse that is designed to carry you to a goal or dream, reply back and let us help you up. It will be an honor to be part of your journey.
Now that I think of it, there wasn’t only one musketeer and the white hats seldom traveled alone. “One for all and all for one…”
How do you make the decision to “get back on the horse” when life throws you off?