I am grateful for galloping. Could be my rural upbringing, but galloping was a normal mode of transportation for me, long before Monty Python successfully cornered the market on the gallop for those who would gallop in the silliest of manners. Galloping and skipping; skipping coming in a close second. I challenge you to gallop or skip down the street and just see if you or onlookers can keep a straight face. Can’t be done.
I’m not sure how galloping became such a favourite pastime. Probably because when my sister and I weren’t riding our horses, we were pretending we were horses and thus we had to gallop because how can one be a horse and not gallop. Ludicrous notion. Some things are that obvious. My mother said my sister and I had a one-track mind when it came to horses. She was our teacher in grade seven and eight and both of us were forbidden from drawing horses during art class and strongly encouraged to read something other than horse stories, which never worked. I mean really. How well did she know us? I read the Lone Ranger series but that had horses written all over it. The Lone Ranger rode Silver and thus, Hi-Ho Silver away with Tonto sitting astride on Scout. Who exactly was I fooling? No one, it turns out.
So I suppose galloping came naturally for us. I’ve let a lot of things go from my youth such as playing marbles despite my reluctance on that front. I no longer skip double dutch. To be honest, I wasn’t that all that good at it, so I didn’t mind giving up the pursuit of that skill. I haven’t played dodge ball since 1969. I didn’t play with dolls unless of course no one was watching. My dad called me his “hired man” and I was pretty sure no hired man played with dolls. I had my reputation to consider. I never had an Easy Bake Oven so making cookies with a light bulb wasn’t on my childhood resume. I no longer watch Saturday morning cartoons. I realize there are no Saturday morning cartoons, but that’s not my fault. I gave up a lot of fun activities but I refuse to give up galloping. Some things matter too much. Galloping defines me. Galloping and motherhood, to be precise.
Webster’s says the gallop is an “asymmetrical gait at high speeds by quadrupedal organisms such as the gait seen in the horse”. That definition is filled with mumbo-jumbo. A gallop is so much more. A gallop is the freedom to be something we’re not, to abandon all the notions of the things we think we should be, to give up on the idea that everything should make sense, because very little does make sense. When we gallop making sense is not only forbidden, it is impossible to even imagine.
I think galloping should be an Olympic event. Set aside this nonsense about 100 metres determining who is the fastest human being on earth. Who cares? A sprinter may arrive ahead of a galloper, but he/she who gallops will have seen so much more, experienced everything on the track while giggling, which by its very nature is wonderful, even better than being fast.
So may I suggest that you schedule a gallop into your day today. You won’t be sorry. I promise.