Are You Uncomfortable Enough? (Down the Line, Stran Smith)

We’re here in Vegas during the NFR and Jennifer and I are having a blast doing our nightly show, “The Draw,” at the MGM Hollywood Theater. We’ve had some great guests and it’s been a lot of fun.

Last night during dinner, I was approached and asked to entertain or talk to a crowd for five or six minutes while two bands changed. I’m asked to speak a lot, but it’s usually about something I know. This was a crowd that was pumped up from the music and eagerly anticipating the next band. With no preparation and “shooting from the hip,” it was a perfect opportunity for me to fall flat on my face. The thought of it made me very uncomfortable and that very fact clenched it for me.

Anytime I get a chance to stretch myself and leave my comfort zone I try to accept it as challenge for myself. Tell me I have to rope a calf in 6.8 to win a gold buckle and that doesn’t bother me. I’ve trained and trained hard for that. Getting up on a stage in front of a lively crowd, that pressures me.

I called Stetson, my nephew, up on the stage where I bragged on him and talked to him about making his first NFR. The crowd loved hearing about what it’s like behind the scenes and Stetson’s rookie year.

My parents have always been a great example to me when there’s a job that needs to be done. There’s not a lot of fanfare, just get it done, whatever it takes. I try to carry that work ethic and mentality with me. Never do I want to feel like I’m too big or good for a job that needs doing. It’s important to stay humble and I want this passed on to my children.

It’s easy to get used and abused in Las Vegas. However, this deal took ten minutes of my time and I was able to help my nephew get his feet wet in this type of situation. He got some experience speaking in front of a crowd and felt safe with me during the process. Speaking in front of crowds is intimidating but gets easier with time.

To be a rodeo professional and enjoy success with your sponsors and fans, you need to be well rounded. Watch professional ball players and how they’re pulled in every direction and interviewed all the time, especially after being defeated. I promise you, talking to anyone is the last thing they feel like doing at that moment.

Every occupation has things you don’t want to do. I look at it as training days. If I don’t want to do something because it makes me uncomfortable, and it’s the right thing to do, then it’s game on. It’s a challenge I need to conquer. I got this.

Till next time, God Bless, and I’ll see you down the line.

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