One of the scenes I captured where I had to descend a steep cliff to capture before my body was ready. No regrets!
Over the last 10 plus years, I have been doing the least possible to survive due to serious illness and major life events. Physically and emotionally, I was overwhelmed. But even still, I made it a priority to celebrate progress and milestones I reached. Photography has played a huge role in moving me forward. It has occurred to me that my experience is worth sharing because many are now finding themselves at this same place with the events of 2020.
I went over 5 years of being completely debilitated with my health before I got my first diagnosis... first of many as it turned out. I finally experienced a weight taken off my body. I was not well, but it was the first sign of improvement I had experienced in years. It was significant, but I was far from healthy. So when I celebrated this landmark in my life, what did I do? I went to Colorado of course!!! I wanted to photograph the legendary Great American Horse Drive. It never occurred to me I was not actually strong enough to do this trip. Why should it??? Lol! I had made significant progress which I had not expected.
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There were times on the horse drive were the truck I was on would stop and I had complete freedom to take photos. Other times, I was taking photos sitting on a stack of hay, taking photos as the truck rocked me around. Yup, I actually miss that. It was fun!
I had long days standing, riding on the back of a pickup traversing rough dirt roads, shooting photos with one hand and holding onto the truck with the other. I had large prairies to walk and crazy steep cliffs to climb to get some beautiful shots I would have never imagined.
Do I have any regrets? Not at all! Did I pay for it physically? Yes, but it was soooooo worth it! (It took me over 8 months to recover from the trip.) I will say that the trip did something in my spirit and heart that was very well needed. People had been expecting me to pass away. With this trip, even though I struggled deeply, I was able to walk back into the land of the living.
How did I do it? Adrenaline has been my friend since I my health crashed. With determination and adrenaline, it is amazing what it possible, but the body does dip deeply into energy reserves to make the impossible happen.
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We like to try to define when things start and when they end. These horses illustrated that the beginning and end can blend together. Life often does the same thing. The key is to continue moving forward.
This trip also did something else for me. As I go through the loads of images I captured on the trip, it is very clear and evident I had very little strength. How? So many images that should have been tact sharp were not... simply because I lacked strength. As time as gone on, I have been able to looks at my images and watch me become strong with each photo trip and outing I took.
I am still catching up. Now, I am only starting to look at life again as responding strategically and with intention again, instead of responding just to the bare minimum I had to do in order to make it until today.
With all the challenges in 2020, I hope this meets you with hope. We have never been promised an easy life, but we can make the most of and celebrate what we are given.
I just added several images from the Colorado Trip. Check out the Horse Collection and the Gift Collections to see the products available.