I think there comes a time in life where we really take so much of what we have for granted. I really do believe that this can happen to anyone and at any point or stage in life. And at least for me, I never realized how much I had until I lost something that was so important to me.
Aug. 6, 2009 started out as did any day that summer. I had been working in Mayer, AZ on a ranch camp. Overall the experience was wonderful. I really became close to nature and realized my passion for it. I also loved those kids. The combination of the kids and nature changed me for the better and those children are not easily forgotten. All summer I had had the desire to try rough stock, or in other words, bull riding. However, the counselors were not allowed to do so until the end of the summer, just in case. The morning of August 6 is when I got my chance. I don't particularly remember most of the day, but I do remember getting on top of the bull in the release pen and literally thinking, "Oh, God. What am I doing?" I don't really remember the ride, but later I was told that I stayed on for 3.7 seconds before falling, or thrown, however you want to think about it. The next thing I remember was the immense pain in my back and the fact that I was trying so hard to move my legs, but I couldn't.
I have never experienced something more humbling than knowing that I possibly would never walk again. Things that I had been doing on my own for years were now being done for me. I couldn't bathe myself or even dress myself, and I even had to have someone with me when I went to the bathroom. I am so grateful to my mom who dropped everything she was doing to help me. Thankfully my recovery was a speedy one and I am so grateful to have legs that work, legs that allow me to continue doing the things I love.
I would not recommend to anyone to break their back, nor would I wish a broken back on my worst enemy, but I am so grateful for the humility I gained through this experience.