Friday, August 27, 2010

Aaaand... We're back.

Irrigating my self inflicted stab wound.
Wow, that was unexpected. Sorry to have been away for about a month. Of course, the further away I got from writing, the more I was worried that the next thing I write had better be profound and worth the wait! Then, I got nervous that if I waited and waited and only wrote something profound, it would feel didactic. Sigh.

So here I am. Lets start with an update, and we'll go from there.

I am now the manager of the stables at the Maroon Bells Outfitters and Guides. This was, to say the least, unexpected. I'm grateful for the job, as my financial situation, as usual, is on the dire side. This job pays well, and is about 100 feet from my front door.

The crew and the owner of the business are an incredible, small, tight group of people who work hard from 7:30 am to 10pm several nights a week. Horse work of this kind is hard, physical labor, as the owner, Brian, says, in knee deep muck. We have about forty horses that we take out on some of the most scenic trail I've ever been on.

While the kids were here, I was fortunate that they were basically adopted by the entire crew, Justin playing drums with the kids, Sam threatening to throw them in the pond off the slack-line, Marley and Melissa bonding over brushing and grooming and riding bareback. Bodhi and Ethan were constantly underfoot, and were welcome down there, and for that, I am grateful. Not just for the fact that I can work there, but for the fact that the kids get to grow up around a bunch of hard working folks who know how to play as well.

By the end of their time here, Cyrus and Big Ethan were un-tacking horses and Cyrus was leading pony rides. We had ourselves some barn rats, and we were glad of it.

About five days ago, Michael and his kids went up to Whitefish, and this morning, early, Michael left for Africa for his 30 day stretch. Ethan and Bodhi are up in Bozeman with their dad, and my mom is on a month and a half long road trip. The house is empty. And messy. I can't bring myself to clean up the scattered shoes and life jackets, the flotsam of the kids. While I love having the house to myself and having absolute quiet for the first time since October, I miss them so very much. I can hear the echo of all five of them playing and wrestling and swimming together.

Camping with Mike and all five of our kids for six days 
As for training, I was doing moderately well, riding a horse and caring tack around keeps you in decent shape, although my anaerobic threshold training is in the dumps.

The day before yesterday, I stabbed myself in the leg with my knife while doctoring some horses, so that has definitely been a downer. Melissa has been irrigating this 2" stab would in my shin just as mercilessly as she does the horses, with Beta dine and hot water or saline. Its healing well, I hope to god we are done with flushing it because its unbearably painful for her to do.

We are rolling toward school, the kids will be back in a few days, (Mike's kids don't come till Christmas), the ground cover is changing color, its getting colder earlier. I've been getting calls and emails from my winter folks, its time to hang up the big calendar and get booked.

Since Summer training fell through in Portillo, Whistler and Hood this season, I'm curious where I will be coming into this winter season. I have a lot of work to do. I applied to be a Diamond Pro last season, and was declined, I was given some coaching points to work on, which were hard to hear, (but those are always the best lessons), and I'm being re-evaluated in January. Hopefully the internal work of the summer will have been in the right direction.

I'm excited this winter to work with a bunch of folks who are going for their cert 2, we are going to spend some time playing together this winter, which should be a lot of fun.

So here comes a big winter. Whether I want to focus on them or not, there are some milestones that exist this winter: Trainer's Accred and Passport, Diamond Pro coaching points to work on, Interski, Academy, and Regional Team Tryouts are all this year.

Thanks for reading and for taking this journey with me!

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