Spring Break, 1997
I will never forget Mora. I sensed we had much in common but I wondered if she would accept me on her back. When I got up on the saddle, she reared high. I stood up with her, ran my fingers through the coarse hairs of her mane and kept my chest pressed to her neck as she reared up on her hind legs. I whispered in her ear, "easy babe, easy." I squeezed her back between my legs to let her know that I was comfortable and that I understood and shared her need to run.
Jen and I were among eight couples who were waiting for the horses to be saddled for what would be a 2 hour horseback ride from the high hills on the island of Aruba, down and along the sandy beach. The ranchers were asking our experience level and I was hesitant to say 'none' because I feel like such an answer doesn't account for my natural athletic ability. So I always say "none, but..."
Everyone except Jen was now saddled up and atop their horses. Jen was the most experienced rider and deemed the only one capable of riding Mora. Mora was brought out, feisty and rearing up on her hind legs. Kicking and bucking. I wouldn't have known that is was such a scary thing if not for the nervous look and mannerisms of the ranchers. "She's okay," they said. "She just needs to be up front."
And so once Jen was saddled up, Mora rudely nudged her way through the tight crowd of 15 horses to be in front. I was jealous. Jen clearly was going to have an adventure while I'd be at the back of the line with Mr. Goat the Horse.
I needed to be on Mora. I never rode a horse before but I just felt like I needed to ride Mora. Jen was willing to switch and the ranchers nervously conceded because I assured them I could handle her.
We descended the rocky trail, single file. Mora and I were contained by the ranchers ahead. The salty scent of the ocean was growing stronger. The beach was near and we could bolt ahead. I would pay no heed to the ranchers caution. I wanted to run with Mora and Mora wanted to run.
Cha! I let out the reigns and snapped my right knee into her side. For a split second, I was stunned by Mora's power as she bolted onto the beach. I could not believe the power she unleashed. We sprinted hard and fast away from our group. I wanted the ranchers to know that Mora didn't kidnap me so I reigned her in, spun around and ran straight back towards our group. We came to a stop and Mora kicked up again. Daringly. High above the other couples and their horses.
As I stood on my stirrups and Mora stood on her hind legs, I nodded to the ranchers that it was okay. I pushed Mora's neck forward, tugged on the left reign to turn her and cha! - sprinted away form our group and onto the light surf.
The sound of the ocean air running past my ears and Mora's rhythmic gallop on the wet sand is my fondest memory of early spring. This memory pulls me through the long days of winter and prods me to stay in shape for the new memories I get to create this spring.
- ▼ 2008 (10)
- ► 2007 (26)
- NY, New York, United States
- I'm 34 years old, the proud father of 2 beautiful children and husband to Jennifer, a beautiful, smart, and very caring woman. I'm an athlete - someone that was blessed with the ability to move fast and fluidly past, around, up and over my opponents. But, my body now reminds me that those days are numbered. I'm the Founder of Agile Fitness, a company dedicated to helping others achieve their fitness goals. Resume: - Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist ('96). - Bachelor of Arts & Science, University of Delaware, ('95) - Masters in Business Administration, Baruch College Zicklin School of Business ('01)