A Fine Line (Down the Line, Stran Smith)

Last month, I wrote about preparing for the match roping against Cody Ohl at the San Angelo Roping Fiesta. Roping fifteen calves weighing the neighborhood of 300 lbs. is nothing short of an endurance race and it was a great test for the physical conditioning I have done for the last year. I was excited that the calves really didn’t give me much trouble.

With big calves in a rocky arena I decided to ride my backup horse. Mid-way through the match I had a decent lead and things starting going better for Cody. Then, my eleventh calf was about to get away and when I roped him, my loop bounced off his shoulder and came off. It was just one of those things that happen and I wouldn’t have done it any differently.

When it got down to the last calf I had to be twelve to win the match. For just one run, and a crucial one, I decided to ride my mare. Though I saw the same out on the barrier as I had all day, my mare leaves so much harder that we broke it and ultimately lost the match.

It would have been great to win the match but I’m more than satisfied with my performance and stamina in the roping itself.  In less than ideal conditions, I lived up to my own expectations. If my life were all tied up in what goes on at the end of a rope and when I throw my hands up, then it would be hard, if not impossible, to have a fulfilled life – because you’d live and die with each run.

Grantlin Rice, known as one of the greatest sports commentators, would always close his show with this statement that pretty much sums up my feelings: “And when that one great scorer comes to mark against your name, he marks not whether you won or lost, but how you played the game.”

A member of my church recently wrote something I want to share with you. Anyone who competes – at anything – can benefit from these words.

A Fine Line
Confidence is a great attribute to possess
God given to many, self developed by others
It produces a high unmatched by any
The effects almost drug-like
Sought after, most likely by everyone
But like drugs, overdose can be fatal
Arrogance steps in and destroys the character of confidence
Being overconfident is as dangerous as lacking
Such a fine line to walk
So walk hand in hand with God
Who is able to help us keep our balance
And ultimately have confidence in him

Until next month, God Bless and I’ll see you down the line.