Hurricane Heidi

Ok.. there I said it. My secret nickname that was given to me when I was 3. I usually never tell anyone what my nickname is because it’s a little embarrassing but I guess that is what blogs are for, right? You may be wondering how I got that nick name, well.. As a child I was pretty hyper and a little dare devil. As my mom would say “She would just run right off the end of the couch!” or something like that. Lets see.. I climbed a pine tree once when I was 7 because there were starlings nesting at the top of it and I had never seen a starling nest.. well.. pine tree branches aren’t really that sturdy and I ended up falling about 10′ – 15′ and landed right on my upper back. I bounced and it hurt… I was scared because my mom and dad were going to take my brother and I to Bay Beach and I thought I was in trouble.. but we still went. So I was an avid tree climber and was quite good at it. The higher the tree the better the view. I also like to catch any rodent or reptile I could get my hands on. I played with the neighborhood kids every day.. bike rides, tackle foot ball (and I don’t throw like a girl), base ball, street hockey, basket ball, roller blading, soccer. I was really an active kid.. I didn’t like Barbies or dressing up. I liked to make forts in the woods and start fires. My legs and elbows had scars all over them. This carried on to my teenage years. I didn’t get in trouble at all, but I liked to drive fast, gallop horses so fast that tears would stream down my face and do an assortment of dangerous and risky things.

This picture portrays a typical riding day in my YeeHaw! days. This must be about 2002. The horse I am riding is Echo.. I think he is a quarter horse morgan cross. He was my favorite horse to ride and was fast and loved to gallop. He reared like this as a trick.. looking at this picture now it looks like he is doing the levade. He was probably a RBE on the horsenality chart.

Now look at this picture, does it make your heart flutter a little? I asked him for a really high rear here so my friend could get a better picture!

Fast Forward about 2 years… I was “tuning up” Echo and we had a discussion that led to him rearing just like this and flipping over on top of me breaking my femur and severing my femoral artery. Real cool huh?! After an ambulance trip, 4 hours of surgery, 4 days in the hospital, 48 staples, lots of morphine and vicodin, 6 months of physical therapy and 1 year of constant pain, Hurricane Heidi disappeared and Wimpy Heidi came forth. I had a lot of muscle atrophy and lost a lot of strength in my whole body.. I am sill not as strong as I was then and it bothers me. Anyway.. I also got wimpy when it came to taking risks.. I just plain didn’t take risks. I was even afraid to drive! I wasn’t scared of Charm at all because I trusted her, but did have some emotional times when I started to ride again. As I have said here and there in other posts, I am still struggling with fear from this accident. I think it really put me in touch with death in a way.. if he would have fallen 12″ further, he would have crushed my chest!

Lately though, I think I may be breaking the hold this has on me. In a way, I am glad that I am a little more cautious because I was really careless in the past. I just need to find the balance. My 3rd year anniversary of the accident is coming up in August. Lately I have just been trying to block out the WARNING sirens in my head and just do the task at hand. For example, I am riding Java! I know this isn’t really a big deal, but it is to me! The cool thing is that I am not fearful to get on him.. I would have been a few months ago. Today I also took a motorcycle ride with Adam.. that was also a big step for me.

We all struggle with fear in one way or another, now you know my way. I hope to enjoy taking risks again and to just be smarter about it!


4 thoughts on “Hurricane Heidi

  1. You sound like you were a pretty cool kid-I happened to like playing barbies and dress up as well as building forts and fires, you remind me alot of a girl I knew in school. I haven’t heard from her recently but she does Parelli with her horses.

    You seem to have grown so much and I am so happy to know you! You are so inspiring and make me want to try new things and keep working on those fears that hold me in check of really discovering life.

  2. Thanks Amelia. Its interesting to look back and think about all that stuff.

    I think I got about 3 Barbies as gifts.. I played with them a little when my friends from school would come over. I just never liked them.. but I did like My Little Ponies and Pound Puppies!

  3. I was so glad you shared this with everyone. I never really knew how you had your accident. I thought it was with Charm. I couldn’t believe those pictures!!! You are brave beyond brave. My husband was like that and has a similar story like yours. His was with a snowmobile – wide open – missed a turn and took out some trees with his body. He severed his patella tendon to his knee cap, which ended up in his thigh. He too spent time in the Woodruff hospital away from family and it messed up his last semester in College. The docor said one more 1/4 inch and he would have lost his leg from the knee down. Yikes! Must be wake-up calls.

    Unfortunately, it was a friends snowmobile – totaled. He used to think he was indestructable and no longer thinks that way either.

    I can now understand that we do have similar fears, only you know what caused yours. Mine was an accumulation of things from before I can even remember. I liked what Shirley said about that being an old story and that we aren’t in that one anymore. Well, something like that, anyway.

    We both have a long life ahead of us ~ yours way longer than mine. But we have lots more chapters to write.

    You go girl!!!

  4. I totally thought I was indestructible and did some really dumb things. Now I just hope to be smart about the choices I make. I know that the Lord was really protecting me through the whole process.. from the moment he landed on me to my physical therapy months later.
    I hope that I can help others from this experience.. I have gone through a lot of emotional times and fear had it’s grip on me. But you just keep moving forward and trust that God will take care of you and will give you safety and comfort. It also helps that I had so many great people around me during that hard time. Adam, my parents, Shirl and Randy. They were all so supportive. Shirl is always helping me through my fear when I ride.. whether she knows it or not, I have done things I didn’t know I could do. And the cool thing is that I think that you are also starting to experience that Lisa.. and it is such a gift. 😉

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