This is it. One of the last few pictures i have of my wonderful son Zephyr Sequoia Rapinchuk. Just a few days after this photo was taken he died in a skiing accident in Wyoming at Jackson Hole. I have read back a few posts recently and am trying to incorporate the joy and pleasure i held knowing that the world was right because my children were alive and well. Everything has changed. Everything. My beautiful vibrant boy is no more. He did not get to turn nineteen and soon he will not get to turn 20. The loss has left me totally without direction and deeply filled with a sorrow i have never known before.
I still run, but now it is for a different type of survival. Before Zephyr's death i thought it ran for parental survival, now it is a whole new animal. I run long and hard so that i can breathe without salt in my mouth. I run because i need to find meaning in a world without my first born wonder. I run because i don't know what the hell else to do. I run to escape the feeling and to quiet my raging heart. Nothing makes this better, but at least i can breathe.
Today i will not write much except to say thank you for my amazing daughter and someday i hope to wake up without dread in my heart. He was just so much more wonderful than me and for that i am deeply sorry.
Alright, so today on the way home from school I was like "I am going to go for a ride when I get home." When I got home I finished my homework then decided to go on a run instead. I got dressed(In all pink mind you) and headed out to the barn. I think Erin and I have now proved that horses are great companions and transportation :-) I spent about five minutes catching Allegro then headed of at a good paced jog down the driveway. Allegro was trotting beside me and I was listening to an awesome song! I headed out of the driveway and crossed the road. The dogs had gotten distracted by something and had wondered off into the fields...A few minutes later they were running beside me. I didn't stop the whole run and after a mile- my stopping point I could barely breath I had been running so hard. Arriving home a little while later my pony jogging next to me, I knew it was the right decision to go on the run instead of the ride. in the beginning my plan had been to run the first mile then ride back home for the second mile. All in all I am very happy that I didn't choose to ride home, and ran the whole way. I feel great now and about two minutes after I finished the run I was feeling normal. This was a great first independent run and I plan to do one or two more in the upcoming week.
On January 17, 2010 I was out enjoying myself thoroughly with a friend. We had ridden about two miles away from my house, Emma on Coach, and myself on Allegro. We had been out for about 1 1/2-2 hours and hadn't had any problems so far. Coach was being unusually good and Allegro, of course was being great. We had spent most of our ride cantering through corn fields on Lyman Flat Road. I had ridden on a great trail that lend to yet another field, so we decided to take it. Laughing and chatting we cantered around; almost getting stuck in a snow bank up to my 15.3 hand thoroughbreds belly. Both of the horses had handled it well and of course it shook all of us up a bit but we thought little of it for the next 5 or so minutes. We went back into the field that connected to the snow mobile trail getting ready to head home. I was about 1 pony length away from Coach and a little to the side when everything went haywire. Occasionally Coacha gets a little excited whilst cantering and kicks out. On this unlucky yet lucky day I just happened to be in the way of his cow kicking left hind hoof. As Emma later recalled, "It sounded like his hoof was hitting metal." What I remember wasn't the immediate contact of his hoof hitting my lower right leg, but the pain I felt after. I shouted to Emma already hyperventilating, and asked her to help me stop. I watched her pull Coach to a stop her face a little pale. She ran over to me and struggled to stop Allegro who as usual still wanted to be galloping. To completely stop Allegro she had to let go of Coach's reins, just long enough for him to get a head start towards home. I think I remember telling her something like this, "Go catch him, I'll try and keep going" Knowing me, a little bit of pain while riding doesn't usually stop me. I could feel my bone shifting inside of my half chap. I knew it was broken. Calling to her she ran over, letting go of the horse she just caught to help me stop my crazy pony. Without too much pain she helped me get off of Allegro and helped me sit down. All three of our wacko little dogs were with us, but only Ixta ran over and stopped next to me for about 5 seconds before running off. Mango had immediately left running towards home, we think to go get help. Popo has trouble getting though the corn stalks, so of course he couldn't come over and check in on me. Meanwhile I was sitting on the cold snow covered ground, while Emma struggled to get on Allegro. I shouted directions something like this, "Follow the trail and take a left. Follow the road that we were on and go to the nearest house." She was already a fair distance away from me and didn't hear my complete directions. I watched her run off along side Leggy, Coach far ahead his reins and lead rope flapping as he galloped towards the road. For what felt like 45 minutes I sat on the snowy ground with a compound fracture crying and shouting. It had started to snow and was getting darker by the second. It turned out that my hero of the day, Emma had taken a right instead of a left and had gone to the second nearest house. From what I hear she arrived at the door a nervous and scared, yet brave girl. They had called 911 from the first responders house and had walked to the field as quickly as they could. I felt a jolt of relief run through me as I saw her orange vest come into view. I had spent the whole time she was gone getting help crying and shouting. I hadn't felt the pain or the cold: my body had thankfully blocked it out. As soon as the EMT's had arrived I realized how cold I was. Luckily the first responders cell phone had service in the middle of a corn field and we were able to call my dad and have him drive out. My brother and Emma ended up walking the two horses home in the snowy darkness, while I got a ride in an ambulance to Cooley Dick. They took ex-rays around 9 something after I had been there for about 3 or 4 hours. I was transported to Bay state where my families favorite orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Burns was on call for the night. Around 12 o'clock I went into surgery and came out around 1 o'clock no problem.
The next morning I was told to leave the hospital I had to walk out of the room and up and down five stairs (On crutches of course). I painfully watched the little girl who I was sharing the room with throw a temper tantrum about not wanting to leave the hospital. I feel bad for that little girl. I did end up doing what I needed to to leave the hospital and was leaving at around maybe, 2 or 3 o'clock in the after noon. I got to choose what we would be eating that night and of course it was sushi. We arrived home at 6 or 7 and were greeted by my dear friend Dory and her family. I hung out with her and her sister Eolann for a little before they had to go. The next day Dory came back and spent the whole day with me. A couple days later Emma came over and we reflected on the drama together. We decided that the experience had been a good one. It had taught both of us a good lesson and had matured both of us a little bit more. Even though it was quite a drama it didn't scare either of us away from riding or horses. She was back riding the same week, and I was riding about a month later thanks to Erin and Cowboy. I am now riding and enjoying my life to the fullest, being fully healed.
There are so many people I could thank, but I will only name a few, of course I would like to thank Emma for being so great, My fambly for everything they did for me while I was handicapped, Dr. Burns for being such a kind souled and great surgeon, My grandpa and grandma for being great, Dory and her fambly for being so nice and for being great friends, Emily and her family for coming over, giving me gifts and entertainment, Erin for everything, My teacher Linda for everything she did, my class for being so warm and welcoming, and everyone else who helped me through this. Thank you all.
me trying to get some race energyus getting pumped in the truck So here is my tale to tell of the Seven Sisters race. Hard, hot, and heavy.
Race day was beautiful. I had spent the previous day walking all over NYC and staying out way too late. We got home at 3:30 in the morning and i had to be up and out by 6:45...so not much sleep. Leslie and i met up on Chesterfield to make the drive together and Juano had made us awesome egg sandwiches with avocado, we were happy and excited. We drove to Amherst at The Notch and picked up our numbers and stood in line for the bathrooms having the giddy chats with other folks preparing for the race. I saw some friends from other races and started to accept that i was really going to run the race. Leslie was excited and a good source of energy to be around as i was so tired from the night before. The race started and we all jogged and waited up the first major hill. I thought ok, ok, lets get moving people. My mood changed around mile 2 where i was so hot and tired and still had 10 more miles to run i thought forget it i'm done. Leslie encouraged me and i pulled it together and realized i would never let myself live it down if i did not finish. The heat was OUTRAGEOUS! The hills and climbing was excrutiating and the terrain was trecherous. Around miles 6 while careening down hill on a single track shale encrusted ridge of a trail the guy behind me fell and took me out with him on his way down. It was a yard sale of limbs and expletives. As i was trying in vain not to fall i jammed by toes down hard and lost part of a toenail, the rest is soon to follow. In the last mile i realized how ugly it had gotten in my head. I remember telling Leslie, "i know i will finish but it's not going to be pretty." It wasn't. I turned my mood around gained a second wind and ran down the final descent to the finish line! I think i yelled, "There's no shame! I finished". Unfortunately that is all i have felt since, shame. I lost my mojo on that race, i was seriously whipped and there were a few times i was definitely NOT having fun. That is ridiculous! It is all about fun! I have to say though, my feet have never looked and felt so bad as after the race. Oh my they are yucky and bruised and blistered.
My lessons from The Sisters are 1. Sleep the night before 2. Have more fluids 3. do not let the brain get ahead of your body 4. find the fun in each moment 5. RUN FASTER.
Look out sisters. I'm coming at you all summer long in preparation for next year and it's going to be a blast!
Erin Hi, my name is Erin, and I am really good friends with Indra. We are a lot alike, physically and mentally. We do a lot of the same things, including horseback riding, skiing, and now running. After a fun sleepover last night, we both felt in the mood to run. So, this morning, we decided that we would run from my house in Plainfield to the Cummington Creamery. At about 8 a.m. we were ready to go, dressed in our running attire and equipped with money for breakfast. We started running, and after about half a mile, we both started to get a slight cramp. The funny thing was, we were almost 100% in sync, with both our running, and where we got our cramps. I think it has something to do with the fact that we both got the same amount of sleep last night, had the same amount of food in our bellies (none), and were (and are) about the same height and weight. So, we continued to push through, running with our identical cramps. We pushed and pushed ourselves, but about a quarter of a mile away from the Farm Stand, Indra felt as though she couldn't make it. I started doing things to distract her, which also helped me to continue running with out thinking about the stitch in my side. I talked about nonsense things, and helped her to keep going at the same pace. By the time we made it to our break point, we were exhausted, but there was no pushing away the sense of pride that we felt. It was then that I realized how helpful it can be to run as a team. If either of us had been running by ourselves, I knew that we would have just given in to our discomforts, and we wouldn't have felt so accomplished!
Indra: On October 13, 2009 I made a resolution to run a full marathon by the time I was 15. And now on May 1, 2010 I have made another resolution. To run a marathon by the time I am 15 with Erin. As a team. While on this run I realised how much motivation and a goal helps you complete what you want to complete. Erin and I decided that we were going to run to the farm stand without stopping for a break once. And Ta-da, we did it! Motivating each other the whole way. After re-hydrating at the farm stand we walked into the road and started to walk. We had decided that we would have the same goal as the last time, to jog the whole way. After prepping ourselves we started to jog Pacing ourselves, judging by how the other was doing. After the water break we were both re-fueled and ready to run! We were talking to each other, making the time go by faster. We would talk about how when we could see a certain spot how far the Creamery was away from that spot. We turned the bend and could see a new road. A change of scenery. We thought, sighing. We tentatively pulled onto Rout 9, knowing that we would arrive at the Creamery soon. Turning the bend to the little town operated store I was wheezing and both our breath was coming in short. As soon as the Creamery came into view we saw a green truck, "That is our finish line." We told each other. I lagged behind as Erin picked up the pace. I saw her body position change as she touched our 'finish line'. A couple seconds later I touched the dark green truck to Erin's 'cheering.' High-fiving we walked/stumbled into the Old Creamery Grocery to eat breakfast. Entering the door we knew we ha and were Running As A Pair.
So spring is really here. Garden work is truly happening and ALL of the animals are shedding. Indra just finished her spring vacation week and is primed for summer. There was not a day this week that she was not on a horse. She and her friends were riding all week back and forth and all around the hill towns. She even managed to ride in Hopkinton at the mile marker of the Boston Marathon.
Some very good friends who grew up in Hopkinton invited us out for a play date to socialize and watch the Boston Marathon, and collect clothing from the race. This year was not my year for Boston due to injury but next year, next year, next year!!It was incredible to watch. We stood at the crest of the first uphill really in the race at the mile marker. The first crew to come were the folks who were seriously impaired. There were people walking with oxygen tanks, folks in wheelchairs only using their legs, people with prosthetic limbs. Then came team Hoyt and one other person pushing an adult in a jogging chair. Then came the wheelchairs! Flying at first. The folks in the lead make it look so effortless but it clearly is not, in the second wave of wheelchairs there were many people struggling mightily to make it up that first hill, rolling back a bit to make it up a bit. Next came the hand crank wheelchairs, amazing again. The came the ELITE WOMEN. Totally amazing to watch. Then came the elite men, then came waves and waves of every day people running and trying and succeeding, and finally chucking off massive amounts of clothes that we all harvested and stocked up on for running. Really it is amazing the mountains of clothes people throw off.
The marathon inspired Indra's friend to train more and we have set up a plan to work on getting her ready for a half marathon. She is motivated, strong, and enjoys running so i am excited. Let the fun begin!
Hi there spring. It's nice to see you again. There have been so many things to write about since my last post but the expectant nature of spring has kept me busy and unmotivated to sit down and write, but there's snow in the forecast and it's raining right now so it feels perfect to write now.
Yesterday i ran with Leslie after her trip to Cali and it was nice to have an old buddy back. The sun was shining and the gorge was ours to explore. About 4 miles in Leslie turned around after lots of talking, and talking, and talking. Running with your peeps is so great! The breadth of things you get to talk about is amazing. We covered, cupcakes, children, shared friends, travel, life plans, work, family, all in only four miles.
I had decided i wanted to run at least 15 miles but perhaps more so i ran on and put my earphones on and cranked up the tunes. I was enjoying the sun and breeze, having just plunged into the river as Leslie and i parted. I looked to my left and the green of the river snaking below the cliffs and the sparkle of the water was mesmerizing, i laughed out loud and for the millionth time was reminded that running is my savior and fortunate gift. On this runner's high i ended up flying over the ground for about 8 1/2 miles and suddenly the heat and the sun and the thirst hit me. Hmmm i would have to run that 8 1/2 back without water or calories. I enjoyed the run back but not nearly as much. It was definitely a push of the thirsty will. None the less it was amazing and fun and a great way to tank up on sunshine before the week of rain and snow begins...yes snow!
My boy is in Oregon looking at a college and no doubt grading the outdoor play potential of Portland and beyond. I am sure he will love it. My girl is building up her leg muscles riding her pony and retraining her horse. She has promised to write an entry about her recovery and the joy of moving again.
I ran a really fun 1/2 marathon a couple of weeks ago in Westfield Ma. It was lovely and sunny and complete with a wooden medal at the end. I ran in my five fingers shoes and i swear i lost a lot of time due to answering questions about them throughout the race. It was still a great time and i nice way to welcome the spring race season.
I am currently terrified of the upcoming Seven Sisters race. Leslie asked me if i was terrified of the race or of her, i had to admit it was because of her. My tiger is just not as strong as hers i fear. I will have to wait and see.
i am a mother, midwife, wife, farmer,dreamer,harvester, runner, and life enjoyer. My kids are growing up and i guess i am as well. I vow never to become a bummer grown up, well at least most of the time.